It’s going to take business assistance of all types for Colorado to emerge from this pandemic as healthy and strong as possible. We’ve all heard of businesses making monetary donations to the Covid-19 response. This assistance is vital. However, the companies known for being the most community-minded in Colorado, The Civic 50 Colorado, are responding in ways that go beyond cash giving. Many are donating professional skills (what is known as “skills-based volunteering”).
One example is The Civic 50 Colorado honoree Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a national law firm with over 300 employees in Colorado. The Civic 50 Colorado honoree is sharing its expertise with any interested employer trying to navigate the trials and challenges of these times by establishing a website with insights on the legal issues and government response related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another way to share professional expertise to help with the Covid-19 response is what a managing partner of The Civic 50 Colorado developer East West Partners, Amy Cara, does. She serves on Denver’s Economic Relief and Recovery Council (ERRC) where she provides strategic pandemic recovery recommendations to the Mayor and the city’s executive leadership. Another example of The Civic 50 Colorado donating expertise to the Covid-19 response is the Denver office of the Employers Council, a national membership organization that offers professional services to over 4,000 employers. Employers Council’s President and CEO, Kim Koy, says that, “Employers are facing unique challenges in these unprecedented times.
We have a dedicated page on our website that provides useful information for employers struggling to effectively operate during this time.” A final example of The Civic 50 Colorado honoree using its expertise to combat Covid-19 is Comcast NBCUniversal with over 9,000 employees in Colorado. Its "The More you Know" campaign, established in partnership with the White House, CDC and Health and Human Services, offers videos and graphics in both English and Spanish to help educate people on reducing their risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These and other The Civic 50 Colorado companies don’t contribute their expertise only during global crises. For them, supporting societal causes with skills-based volunteering is standard practice. In fact, The Civic 50 Colorado honorees out-perform their national counterparts (selected for being the most community-minded companies in the country) in skills-based volunteering. Not only do The Civic 50 Colorado employees volunteer more hours per year for community organizations than The Civic 50 National employees (an average of 10.4 versus 7.1 hours) but a higher percentage of their hours are skills-based (35% versus 28%).
Any type of corporate volunteering benefits nonprofit organizations but skills-based volunteering, where employees apply professional skills in support of a cause, is especially valuable. In fact, according to Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), the monetized value of skills-based volunteering to nonprofits is at least three times higher than extra-hands volunteering such as packing meals or planting trees. Colorado’s exceptional skills-based volunteering, then, is a significant bonus to our communities during Covid-19 and beyond.
To learn more about the practices of The Civic 50 Colorado, read the research report. Also, consider applying to become a 2020 The Civic 50 Colorado honoree.
The companies known for being the most community-minded in Colorado, The Civic 50 Colorado, won’t let a pandemic stop them from contributing to others. The Civic 50 Colorado companies, many of which are affected by the crisis themselves, are finding innovative and sometimes surprising ways to help Colorado respond to the COVID-19 crisis. For example, The Civic 50 Colorado companies are:
Helping healthcare workers overcome vehicle trouble
AAA Colorado, The Civic 50 Colorado honoree, has extended its legendary emergency roadside assistance free to all first responders and healthcare workers traveling to and from their jobs. Thanks to AAA Colorado, any frontline hero with a dead battery or other car trouble gets help gratis and can soon be on their way. Skyler McKinley, director of public affairs for AAA Colorado, says, "In these extraordinary times, we're committed to helping those who are helping Colorado get through this by making sure that they never need to worry about a breakdown."
Keeping nonprofit services operating
GroundFloor Media, a Denver communications firm that is a The Civic 50 Colorado honoree, established a site to help the community support Colorado’s smaller nonprofits that may need assistance during this volatile time. Opportunities to contribute are updated daily and can include distributing food, volunteering remotely, making an in-kind donation or providing corporations with a way to give back to their Colorado community.
Turning member swipes into donations
Recognizing that many people might want to donate toward the COVID-19 response but don’t have the financial resources to do so, the Denver Community Credit Union is turning members’ everyday debit or credit card swipes into COVID-19 donations. If members generate an average number of debit and credit card transactions, the Credit Union will donate on behalf of the membership to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. Not only does this help our community make it to the other side of COVID-19 as quickly as possible, it helps the not-for-profit Credit Union do the same.
Of course, the above are merely a few of the efforts that a few The Civic 50 Colorado companies are doing now. To learn about the ongoing practices of the full The Civic 50 Colorado, read the research report.
Is your company also community minded? Apply to become a 2020 The Civic 50 Colorado honoree.
May 4, 2020 by Bea Boccalandro
Is there a productive assignment we can give our work-at-home team members who don’t have enough to do? I believe there is. And it happens to also serve the world.
For many managers, COVID-19 is an opportunity to invite idle or semi-idle employees to develop social-purpose skills (defined as their ability to help others or a societal cause) and craft plans to apply these skills at work. For example, we can encourage employees to develop their capacity to:
Respond to medical emergencies. Having team members who are equipped to respond to medical situations at work is unquestionably beneficial. This pandemic might be as good a time as any for our team members to take a company first-responder online training, the American Red Cross’ first aid/CPR/AED course or the University of Glasgow’s basic first aid course.
Be more environmentally sustainable. Research that I helped EarthShare conduct on Fortune 1000 workers, suggests that 48 percent of our team members want their everyday work to promote environmental protection. Why not help them get there? WWF-Canada’s Living Planet @ Work platform has free resources to help workers institute sustainable initiatives at work.
Be more inclusive. Why not invite our team members to deepen their ability to work more equitably and effectively with people from diverse backgrounds? Our company might already have a diversity and inclusion e-training. If not, there are public online courses such as the Jennifer Brown Consulting DEI Foundations Course. (I have the honor of working alongside Jennifer in advising a Fortune 500 CEO on CSR and can vouch for her and her team’s work. Use code PODCAST for a 20% discount.)
Make work autism-friendly. Does your team serve the public or otherwise work with individuals on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? If so, how wonderful would it be for your team to learn how to serve these individuals with dignity and compassion? The Autism Society has an assessment and materials to help your unit or business become autism-friendly.
A benefit of helping team members develop these (or any) social-purpose competencies is that it will strengthen their work. If you recall my prior posts, you’re aware that workers oriented toward social purpose are more motivated, calmer, more productive, better performing and happier. And, yes, a few hours of social-purpose training now followed up with a few minutes a week of action (once back at the workplace) is enough to trigger these benefits, per research findings.
If we want a dream team when we return to the workplace, now is the time to help our team members develop their capacity to do good at work.
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