Why it pays to let staff carry out charity work
Giving back to the community can bring benefits to employers and employees, writes CareerOne Editor Cara Jenkin.
VOLUNTEERING, fundraising and supporting a good cause can boost a young worker’s career and a company’s reputation as well as the work of the charity or social organisation, research shows.
The Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility survey finds that being a good corporate citizen improves the reputation of a company and gives it a competitive advantage in its market as well as allowing scope for staff to develop new products and services through the relationships formed.
Its State of CSR Annual Review: 2010-2011 reveals 80 per cent of companies with corporate social responsibility programs have recorded a strengthened reputation because of its practices and 60 per cent believed corporate social responsibility led to reduced costs.
Managing director Dr Leeora Black says corporate social responsibility is gaining traction as a strategic business opportunity.
‘‘Organisations are reporting increasingly strong links between corporate social responsibility capabilities and positive performance – economic, environmental and social,’’ she says.
‘‘The business case for corporate social responsibility is also widely accepted by organisations, although our research shows there’s still a long way to go before corporate social responsibility is truly integrated into business strategy.’’
Accounting firm KPMG encourages staff to be part of its corporate citizenship program and outlines its work during its induction process. The firm provides volunteers and fundraising support for charitable and not- for-profit organisations with a focus on social inclusion, health, education and environment.
Staff can choose which organisations they want to support and the extent of their involvement and receive one leave day a year to fulfil any volunteering duties.
Program lead partner Mark Watson says it helps attract topquality employees who gain skills from being involved.
‘‘Graduates are increasingly looking for an employer with a strong track record in corporate social responsibility,’’ he says.
‘‘KPMG wants to create a working environment where our people develop professionally and personally. Our corporate citizenship program allows all our staff, from graduates to partners, to contribute to the community in ways they may not have been able to before.’’
Yesterday, KPMG’s graduate employees held a fundraising drive, selling merchandise and taking donations for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
‘‘While being involved in community work is personally rewarding to all staff involved, it also benefits the firm by enhancing our employer brand,’’ Mr Watson says.
‘‘It helps us attract the wellrounded people who will best contribute to our corporate culture and helps us continue to make a valuable contribution to the community.’’
KPMG’s Mark Watson with Austin Tremaine and Rebecca Smith. KPMG assists Starlight Children’s Foundation with fundraising.