Love Your Job: Lead a Strategic Corporate Community Initiative

Bea Boccalandro Bea Boccalandro, advisor to Business4Better, is a strategy consultant, writer and frequent public speaker on business involvement in societal causes. She is president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that has helped Aetna, Allstate, Bank of America, FedEx, HP, IBM, Levi Strauss & Co., The Walt Disney Company and many other companies develop and enhance their community involvement programs. She also teaches corporate community involvement at Georgetown University, Boston College, the Points of Light Institute and other organizations and has authored The End of Employee Volunteering: A Necessary Step to Substantive Employee Engagement in the Community; A Helping Hand or a Hijacking? How Nonprofits Can Respond to Ever-Increasing Corporate Involvement in the Community and many other publications.
About Bea Boccalandro (6 Posts)

Wishing you found your work more enthralling? You can! And you don’t have to resign from your current position. The answer is to do your work in a way that carries  greater meaning to you than your job description suggests. It is well established that the more meaning we confer to our work, the happier we are.

Is it even possible, you might be wondering, to “add meaning” to a job?

Absolutely. Strategic corporate community involvement, which is a form of Corporate Social Reponsibility (CSR) or Shared Value, does just that. It is doing societal good, like assuaging hunger, hurricane damage or heart disease, as an integrated, and productive part of your corporate job.

A corporate job that does societal good is not as oxymoronic as it sounds. Sales representatives might add value, and loyalty, to their small business customers by helping them become energy efficient; something HP does. A team might make its annual team-building project a “school adoption,” as group at Aetna does. Or a call center might call isolated elderly individuals during times of low call volume, as happens at Caesars Entertainment. These are “do-good” activities that support sales, teamwork, employee engagement or other business outcomes.

Harvard Business School strategist, Michael Porter, advocates this type of strategic corporate community involvement. Generation Y expects it:  Sixty-five percent of students entering the job market today expect to make a social or environmental impact through their work and 44 percent would be willing to take a pay cut to do so according to a Rutgers University and Net Impact survey.

UBM Employees Volunteer at Grandma's House

Strategic corporate community involvement might be the fresh new 21st century business management strategy. After all, Microsoft, Method and Verizon, for example, all have formal strategic corporate community involvement programs. Still, as a cutting-edge emerging practice, it’s unlikely to have reached your workplace.

But don’t let that stop you. Transform your own workplace experience and, if you wish, that of colleagues by joining us at the Business4Better conference in Anaheim, California, on May 1-2. Whether you work in sales, accounting, operations or any other business function, whether you manage no one or thousands of employees, come learn from Microsoft, Method, Verizon, and other pioneer companies, academics and experts in corporate community involvement how to enhance your work life.

According to the Rutgers University and Net Impact research, you are twice as likely to be happy with your job if it makes a social or environmental impact.

Become happy with your job this year!

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