The Importance of Corporate Citizenship

Jenni Gray, Copywriter, DE&I Interim Co-Chair,  Intellicorp recordsJenni Gray, Copywriter, DE&I Interim Co-Chair, Intellicorp records
Part of IntelliCorp’s mission is to serve others and give back. IntelliCorp not only provides non-profit/volunteer organizations with background screening products needed to safely and efficiently run their organizations, but also strives toward good corporate citizenship as an organization ourselves.

What is corporate citizenship and why is it important?

Corporate citizenship, also called corporate social responsibility, is a recognition that businesses and corporations have a responsibility to the communities in which they operate, to meet social, cultural, and environmental needs. Companies that engage in corporate citizenship strive to improve the lives of their employees and the communities in which they live.

Corporate citizenship is also a tool to strengthen engagement among employees, and develop community ties for individual employees and the company as a whole. Developing employee engagement and strong community ties help increase retention by cultivating a sense of belonging and purpose.

There are myriad ways companies can work to build corporate citizenship programs. Strategies will depend on the industry, as well as the particular needs of the communities in which a company resides. Some organizations may choose to focus more on environmental impact, while others will opt for community service opportunities, event sponsorships, or even team participation events. All organizations could benefit from a diversity, equity, and inclusion program.

Opportunities for corporate citizenship at your organization include:

• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I): Create a DE&I task force to work toward ensuring your company is fostering an inclusive environment, utilizing the strengths of your diverse workforce and implementing solutions so each employee is able to be their true, authentic self. DE&I may focus on anything from fair and unbiased hiring practices, to cultural education and inclusion, to employee development opportunities.

• Pledging to offset environmental costs: Offset your carbon footprint by offering recycling programs, utilizing clean energy, planting trees, using hybrid or electric company vehicles, purchasing materials from environmentally friendly companies, or offering flexible/hybrid work-from-home schedules to reduce pollution from commutes.

• Community service: Organize opportunities for employees to get hands-on helping local charities, non-profits, and volunteer organizations. Create a team to participate in local 5Ks for awareness organizations, or even host a blood drive.

Corporate citizenship is a tool to strengthen engagement among employees, and develop community ties for individual employees and the company as a whole.

• Philanthropy: Raise money or offer sponsorships, sometimes through events or activities, to support a charitable organization or cause.

• College programs: Offer college/scholarship programs for employees and their families.

Not only are these practices important for employees and their communities, but investors increasingly seek out companies that have proven practices engaging in corporate citizenship. An organization’s commitment to corporate citizenship may also improve its attractiveness to potential clients or prospective new hires. Consider developing a program that works for your organization, and reap the benefits of a workforce with a sense of purpose.
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