This year, which Colorado’s companies have performed best in created a culture of service and dedicating themselves to building a better tomorrow? The answer, according to our Civic 50 Colorado award program, is:
Collectively, the Civic 50 Colorado donated to Colorado causes over $80 million in combined monetary and in-kind giving and over 160,000 employee volunteer hours. They also promoted community engagement through workplace diversity, equity and inclusion programs (98% offer this), formal practices to support voting and related actions (98%), employee paid time off to volunteer (80% offer this) and other efforts.
The Civic 50 Colorado assessment criteria are modeled on the national Points of Light Civic 50 award. Companies are rated based entirely on responses to numerical and categorical questions normalized by number of employees when relevant (to ensure size does not provide an advantage). Each applicant receives up to a possible 1,000 points in each community engagement dimension: investment, integration, institutionalization and impact. The 50 applicants with the highest total score are awarded Civic 50 Colorado honors. Human judging is not part of the determination. In 2022, companies with Colorado operations, community engagement programs and a minimum of 15 employees in Colorado were eligible to apply.
Congrats to the 2022 Civic 50 honorees!
Learn more about the Civic 50 Colorado and stay tuned for the quantitative report (or see the 2021 report)
Excerpt from Do Good at Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing by Bea Boccalandro
During one particular week in each of the last ten years, the New York Yankees won, on average, 74 percent of games. If you’re not as embarrassingly infatuated with baseball as I am, you might not realize this is astonishing. It easily beats their 57 percent winning average during that decade. In fact, it beats every major league team’s winning percentage back to 1954. The Yankees are at home during the week in question, but homefield advantage doesn’t explain their success. The average winning percentage during that week is still 10 percentage points higher than the decade’s homefield winning percentage (74 percent versus 64 percent).i What, then, explains this week’s outrageous success? (No, fellow Red Sox fans, it’s not that the Yankees are trouncing our team.)
The Yankees’ exceptional record during this one week is likely due to what’s at the top of the Hierarchy of Motivation. Psychologists call it “eudaimonic purpose.” Because I almost pulled a muscle trying to pronounce that word, I use a synonym: “social,” as in relating to societal good. Social—or eudaimonic—purpose is pursuing meaningful contributions to others or to a societal cause. Helping low-income families access the beach is an act of social purpose. Attaining a pay raise, upgrading our job to better match our passions or otherwise pursuing what’s on the bottom two levels of the Hierarchy of Motivation are self-oriented acts, what scientists call “hedonic” purpose.
The winning week is Yankees Helping Others Persevere & Excel (HOPE) Week. During this one week per season, players take field trips with individuals and families facing hardship. One year, for example, relief pitcher Dellin Betances and several teammates spent a day at the Bronx Zoo with an eleven-year-old boy fighting leukemia and his seven-year-old sister who donated bone marrow to her brother. When Betances did his job from the mound at Yankees stadium that evening, he didn’t give up a single hit. It’s likely that social purpose helped him succeed.
As covered earlier, in certain rare circumstances pay can motivate. Furthermore, pursuing passion, people and progress motivate across a broader set of circumstances and more effectively than pay. But all these hedonic pursuits are to social-purpose pursuits what a jeep is to a jet. We don’t progress as fast or as far when fueled by hedonic pursuits as opposed to social purpose. One study, for example, compared workers who were told their work helped charitable causes with workers in identical jobs who weren’t told this. Those who knew they were pursuing social purpose conducted equally high-quality work as those who didn’t but were 24 percent faster and had 43 percent less downtime. Another experiment studied workers scanning online images for specific patterns. One randomly selected subgroup was told that they were labeling tumor cells to assist medical researchers. The others were not given any context about the work. As in the case of the first experiment, workers who knew they were supporting the health of others processed more images than those who had no reason to believe their work promoted social purpose. In this case, however, there was a difference in quality. Despite producing more, the social-purpose workers had higher quality work. Other research uncovered that the social-purpose performance boost is so evident that supervisors notice it. Simply put, social purpose is our most powerful motivator.
Social purpose not only increases motivation and performance, it also makes us happier with our jobs. My research documented 13 percent higher job satisfaction, on average, in employees whose work experience incorporated social purpose than in those whose work didn’t. Other studies reached similar conclusions. The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen found that lack of workplace purpose is the biggest culprit in job dissatisfaction among Danes. Another European study found that incorporating social purpose into work boosted job satisfaction within a month. In fact, so many studies link social purpose to job satisfaction that researchers who systematically reviewed all the evidence say the relationship is indisputable.
Want assistance igniting a sense of purpose in your team members? Contact us!
For the first mention of this phenomenon, see Anthony Rieber, “Why Yankees Have a Higher Winning Percentage During HOPE Week,” Newsday, May 27, 2017. The statistics presented herein replicate Rieber’s analysis for a slightly newer decade: from 2009 to 2018.
Pandemics, wildfires and other major disasters are now a business responsibility. The media reports which brands are contributing what, workers ask employers for ways to help and affected communities take note of which businesses are sensitive to their plight.
What’s a business leader to do? The most important step is to set up a response policy before disaster strikes. You don’t want to be caught making decisions ad hoc as homes burn or people fall ill. In crafting a disaster response policy, the most important considerations are:
Looking for additional assistance in crafting your disaster response practice? Contact us!
Image from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Inclusion & Belonging Guidebook
Did you know that research finds that in the United States a resume with a white-sounding name is more likely to receive a callback than the same resume with an African-American sounding name? Whether we’re aware of it or not, many of our workplaces perpetuate social injustices — via both conscious and unconscious behaviors. Therefore, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) program that, among other things, minimizes racial inequity is vital to any corporate social responsibility (CSR) effort.
A key question you might be asking is: How can I, a non-expert in DEI, promote racial equity at my company? Whether you’re an entrepreneur managing a team of two or a Fortune 500 vice president, a new W.K. Kellogg Foundation product will help you answer this question. This free resource, the Inclusion & Belonging Guidebook, summarizes key DEI concepts, ideas, examples and tactics from a wide variety of sources. Where does it suggest you start? With yourself. In fact, the Guidebook, will help you progress both in your personal social justice journey as well as in your organizational DEI leadership.
In summary, if you aren’t sure what next step to take in your DEI efforts, consider exploring the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Inclusion & Belonging Guidebook. For additional assistance with your DEI experts, contact us. We’re always eager to support your DEI and CSR efforts
In the 1950’s, American psychologist Gordon Allport posited that people with a prejudice against a certain group often overcame it when working with individuals from that group, a phenomenon he called “intergroup contact theory.” Since then, hundreds of studies have proven that contact theory is generally correct and have identified under which conditions it’s most effective. As a result, there’s now actionable guidance for managing teams in a manner that helps members overcome prejudice:
If you can’t meet all five of the above conditions, don’t worry. While the first condition, diverse composition, is essential for teams to promote greater inclusivity, the other four are not. In fact, research finds that even teams that fail to meet all or most of the bottom four criteria (but are still diverse) often reduce member prejudice, although not optimally.
As a leader, you can help free team members from their biases by applying contact theory. Its application won’t increase inclusivity in every instance, but it typically will. In sum, anybody who manages teams has the power to promote social justice.
Looking for assistance in making your workplace more inclusive? CSR Solutions of Colorado can help. Contact us!
Sometimes it’s helpful to estimate the total monetary value of a company’s contributions to the community, including cash, in-kind and volunteer donations. For example, a company might want to report something akin to, “We’re proud to have contributed $X to the community in 2021.” This figure can come in handy for award applications, PR campaigns, social media posts, corporate website content or employee communications, for example. Fortunately, monetizing community contributions is not difficult. It involves filling out the grid below for the company’s community engagement activities conducted in a specific year (or other time period).
That’s it! You now have an estimate of the monetary value of your company’s community contributions.
Looking for more assistance with monetizing your community contributions? CSR Solutions of Colorado can help. Contact us!
Are you looking for a simple way to do corporate social responsibility (CSR)? What if you offered customers experiencing hardship more favorable prices? For example, the music composer Douglas Morton invites individuals who are under-employed, stricken by a personal crisis or otherwise experiencing financial difficulties to explain their circumstance and offer to pay what and when they can. His most rewarding customer interactions are these conversations.
Compassionate pricing doesn't need to be complicated. A case in point is what Morton does: He simply added wording to his e-commerce site giving customers the opportunity to explain their circumstances. His customer service involves reviewing submissions and providing discount codes. Compassionate pricing also doesn't need to be serious and boring. Morton's' messaging, for example, offers to accept avocados as payment! What Morton does, however, is just one option.
Other ways of pricing in a way that supports societal causes includes:
You get the idea. There are many ways to conduct CSR via pricing! Might there be one that is perfect for your business?
For assistance with your CSR, contact us.
Photo by Kindel Media
You’ve probably heard the term ESG (environment social governance). You may have heard it be interchanged with CSR (corporate social responsibility). Are they the same thing?
The answer is no. CSR and ESG, although promoting the same general concept, are distinct. CSR is everything a company does to positively contribute to societal issues that it’s not required to do by law or regulation. ESG is CSR that has been formalized into measurable criteria that are disclosed to investors and the public. As Lexology puts it: “While CSR aims to make a business accountable, ESG criteria make such business’ efforts measurable.” ESG criteria focus on quantitative data used to help investors, employees and consumers make decisions regarding a company. In essence, a company's ESG reporting shows if it’s “walking the talk” in terms of their CSR goals across:
There are several frameworks to help companies structure their ESG work, the most common of which are listed below.
Why should your company care about ESG? If your company executes ESG right, it’s likely to be more profitable. Also, investors increasingly expect companies to disclose ESG data. For example, the newly incorporated International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is developing international ESG reporting standards and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is incorporating ESG into its work. In summary, ESG is quickly becoming a standard part of managing a business.
It has been over two years since COVID-19 first forced a massive shift to remote work. Since then, most companies have adapted to conduct business efficiently using more technology. For most workplaces, returning to pre-pandemic levels of in-person work is unlikely. How do we ensure that this permanent increase in remote work ends up reducing carbon emissions, as opposed to increasing them?
At first blush, remote work appears to be a boon for the environment. Fewer employees making the commute to the office reduces carbon emissions. For example, India’s second largest IT service provider, Infosys, reduced its carbon emissions by 46% in the year following the start of the pandemic. This number sounds good but is misleading.
It turns out that having your employees work from home doesn’t necessarily reduce their total carbon emissions. Although they’re no longer commuting, they’re now using more lights, computers, internet, heat and air conditioning in their own homes. They are also purchasing lunch food and office supplies, both of which have supply chains and associated emissions. Additionally, if your employees followed global trends, many moved during the pandemic from
cities to suburbs, where houses are bigger, public transportation is scarcer and driving is more commonplace. If their home offices are less energy efficient and if their purchasing decisions are less environmentally sustainable than yours as an employer, your team members could be spewing more carbon into the atmosphere as remote workers than as office workers. Despite its elimination of the commute and office use, remote work does not necessarily reduce carbon emissions.
Fortunately, your company can ensure that the modern remote-work era is climate friendly by:
1. Promoting clean and efficient home energy. Many companies have switched to purchasing renewable electricity for their operations. It’s time to consider doing the same for employee electricity use outside the office. Consider incentivizing or funding employee upgrades to clean power sources. Similarly, consider paying for employee home energy efficiency improvements.
2. Cutting down on business travel. Air travel is a bigger source of emissions than offices. Consider cutting back on nonessential business travel. Have employees to ask themselves “can this meeting or event be successful online?” before booking a ticket.
3. Encouraging public transportation. Consider company policies that reward or reimburse employees for use of public transit for work-related travel.
4. Measuring total impact. Calculate your company’s total emissions – including from commuting and use of home as office – to ensure you’re minimizing your company’s overall carbon footprint. This Watershed calculator can help.
In summary, if your company has many remote or hybrid workers, it’s time to include the carbon impact of employees working at home in your overall climate policies, measurement and goals.
Given Colorado laws, the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has little impact on state residents’ immediate access to legal abortions. It does, however, have an impact on Colorado employers. In today’s world, companies need to manage their relationship to this, and all, political developments involving societal issues. Employees and customers increasingly expect your corporate social responsibility (CSR) to address societal issues they consider important. As shown in a prior post, ignoring this expectation is costly and increasingly infeasible as CSR drives business performance and financial results.
The bottom line is that businesses need to consider their response to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling. To help your company craft its response, following are the principal ways major brands have responded:
CSR involves managing positions on key societal issues, including those that are politicized. These include diversity equity and inclusion, climate change and now abortion. Long gone are the days when companies could be good corporate citizens by only supporting uncontroversial causes far from the political fray. Today, it’s impossible to conduct CSR without making political statements. The only question is how effectively companies manage their CSR and, thus, successfully navigate through the highly politicized civil society they operate in.
For assistance in designing and executing your CSR strategy, contact us.
Spark the Change Colorado, Community Shares of Colorado, B:CIVIC