Organizations are increasingly realizing the value of Corporate Citizenship (CC) efforts to positively impact their Functional priorities and business success. Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, which typically champion CC efforts, are accumulating deep CC-specific knowledge and insights which can be shared to support other Functional priorities including Risk Management and Human Resources (HR).
So how do we access these insights and knowledge?
From an employee-centric vantage, we could modify existing employee surveys to capture the nature/experiences of CC program involvement. But survey participation rates tend to be volatile. A job-centric data collection approach, however, offers a broader and more reliable means to collect, analyze and infuse employee feedback into the corporate DNA.
How do we currently capture job holder experiences and shape job expectations on a regular basis -regardless of level or Function?
Most companies already have this data mining expertise – their job evaluation (JE) program. JE data collection templates already capture job data that reflects the nature of “expected” employee engagement with external stakeholders (e.g. vendors, government agencies) unique to a particular organization Function or level. These templates can be easily modified to also collect “volunteer” engagements insights specific to common JE elements like decision-making, problem solving, leadership orientation and knowledge depth.
Captured through the JE maintenance cycle these insights can be used to compare expected role competencies with skills and behaviors applied/acquired in volunteer settings as a means of mapping the organization’s human capital inventory. For example, the modified JE templates may reveal that an incumbent in a highly technical role may be utilizing/enhancing communications or people management skills through their volunteer engagement experiences. That is useful career path information.
It’s also interesting to note the high degree of commonality, in terms of JE factors and sub-factors, across private and non-profit applications. This commonality in job measurement further substantiates the value and transferability of cross-sector learning at the job level.
How Communities help Business
From a corporate perspective, collected data will paint a clearer picture of the types and nature of community engagement activities across different employee demographics (e.g. Function, level). These insights can be used to calibrate existing CC strategy and programs to more strongly resonate with employees. Programs that resonate with employees promote a stronger emotional connection to the employer which is correlated with workforce productivity and turnover costs.
Although job expectations evolve to support changing business priorities they always retain two common characteristics at the corporate DNA level: improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Over time, through its job design expertise, the HR Function could combine CC insights into future job expectations. For example, as part of a risk management framework, leadership level role profiles or others that have a high public visibility component may include role expectations to accumulate and share their Function specific CC insights. This type of information sharing forum might help to counter the natural tendency for Groupthink or siloed views that may increase organization risk.
Today’s organizations can draw from many sources of intelligence as they refine their CC framework. However, in order to engrain CC thinking into the corporate DNA similar to a risk management or customer service focus, changes need to take place at the job level. Once integrated into job expectations, these changes will collectively shape the corporate culture towards one of doing well by doing good.
By Dave Nanderam, ASSOCIUM Consultants. Through our collaborative approaches, innovative HR products and customized advisory solutions we impact four leadership priorities: managing risk, driving productivity, strengthening talent capabilities and supporting your bottom line. Let’s connect to find out how ASSOCIUM Consultants can help your organization.