Three Cost Offsets of an Integrated Corporate Community Program
By Sabrina El-Chibini and Karan Jindal, The Collaboration Vector Inc.
An integrated corporate community program is one that becomes an indiscernible part of a company’s culture over the long term. It is achieved by providing latitude and support to employees who take ownership of local leadership while adhering to a united corporate focus. In our experience at The Collaboration Vector, integrated community programs are welcomed and embraced by employees. When employees are supported in leading partnerships with non-profits over the long term, sustained positive social impact is realized in communities.
Employee-driven integrated community programs engage all stakeholders in building long-term sustainable community partnerships
Integrated programs have been shown to contribute to employee engagement , leadership development , diversity, inclusion, reputation, and culture. Through coveted purpose-filled channels, they offer diverse, non-traditional leadership development, team building, and employee recognition opportunities that offset routinely incurred costs of traditional approaches.
Leaders involved in long-term integrated community programs say they develop problem-solving, communication, and team-building skills. Those involved in coaching youth on a specific skill set, such as customer service or Excel, also report developing technical skills.
Ongoing team-building opportunities arise to unite employees with colleagues and community members. Our client examples include volunteers joining community members in programs that support a broader long-term objective. For example, they receive health and wellness education alongside community members, participate in virtual community groups to create and sustain home gardens, and support high school students in building and operating a company after receiving training themselves.
The rise of CSR
In general, Corporate Social Responsibility has rapidly shifted from being a voluntary activity to being a central part of corporate strategy as companies react to mounting pressure from stakeholders – investors, employees, and customers – to invest in their communities.
The pandemic further accelerated the shift as many companies demonstrated their commitment to communities in a time of crisis. It is not surprising to note the finding of a recent Harvard study which indicates that ESG funds outperformed their benchmarks, primarily due to their positive societal perception and long-term focus .
Developing an integrated community program
Community programs at many companies still entail short-term sporadic donations and partnerships, leaving the benefits of long-term formalized and integrated community programs untapped.
Developing an integrated community program requires a formal phase-gate approach, with initial setup, support for employees and non-profits, and continuous monitoring and facilitation.
The Collaboration Vector offers companies an award-winning evidence-based framework for implementing these programs. Companies can convert sporadic donations already provided to aligned non-profits to long-term employee-led sustainable partnerships. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Embracing social purpose: why community works for business, The Collaboration Vector (retrieved on July 29, 2021, from www.thecollaborationvector.com/social-purpose)
Propelling the Rise of the Natural Leader, The Collaboration Vector (retrieved on July 29, 2021, from www.thecollaborationvector.com/propelling-the-rise-of-the-natural-leader)
Social-Impact Efforts That Create Real Value, Harvard Business Review, 2020 (retrieved on July 13, 2021, from www.hbr.org/2020/09/social-impact-efforts-that-create-real-value)