Every year, companies, like people, often have goals that are related to business but not necessarily numbers driven. This is true especially in the current socio-political climate where corporations’ efforts to address diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, treatment of women, and sustainability – not to mention the overwhelming discord and divide in America, today – are scrutinized and written about extensively.
One way companies measure and tout their accomplishments is through inclusion on the multitude of “top” lists covering a range of issues including work environment, corporate social responsibility (CSR), diversity and so on.
Not every list carries the same weight, but inclusion on a list that looks to bolster companies’ work on CSR and other issues, while inspiring these and other companies to keep doing better, is a really good thing.
Bad actors have created doubt and suspicion around corporations, but many, if not most, companies are not villains. They recognize they have to both give back to the community and provide a safe, productive and fair environment for their employees and work hard to do so.
So why don’t we hear more about it beyond annual lists or CSR Reports?
Perhaps companies are doing great work giving back to the community or on initiatives to improve diversity or ensure it’s a great place for women to work, but not doing a good enough job telling their employees – often the people who matter most when it comes to these issues – about it.
Often citing employee engagement as a key outcome in CSR work, companies need to do better when it comes to communications around these efforts. Your employees are your biggest and best ambassadors. They want to be proud of where they work, and they want to feel heard around important issues.
Corporations should use this to their advantage. Form task forces on engagement and include employees of all levels. Have conversations around diversity, women in the workplace and CSR. Gather people in small groups periodically and just talk about the current state of the business and the internal climate. And when you take action as a result of a meeting or suggestion, tell everyone you did it.
Sometimes we are so focused on our external appearance, we forget to check inside to ensure that who we really are as a company is accurately reflected in the image we promote. And no one will tell you if it’s not faster than your employee base.
They just need to do a better job talking about it – starting with their best and most valuable asset – their employees.