In the clatter of commentary from investors, NGOs, regulators, elected officials, activists, reporters, and the dozens of other groups judging corporate responsibility, it’s easy to forget the one stakeholder group right under your nose – employees.
That audience alone has the potential to have by far the greatest influence on your reputation as a corporate citizen. Every day they have access to your customers – either delivering or undermining the messages that you have so carefully constructed. They influence the opinions of their neighbors and family much more powerfully than the traditional communications channels we target with resources. They are the truth tellers about how closely your company is really embracing corporate values.
It doesn’t matter if you have five employees or 400,000. Every single one has the ability to publicly challenge your status as a good employer, a generous community contributor, an environmental steward, and a corruption-free company.
So how do you harness the energy and influence of employees to your advantage? How do you convert them into sustainability evangelists?
The essential elements are: culture, authenticity, credibility, and activation.
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is a membership-based research organization that is part of the Carroll School of Management. It is committed to helping business leverage its social, economic and human assets to ensure both its success and a more just and sustainable world. As a leading resource on corporate citizenship, the Center works with global corporations to help them define, plan and operationalize their corporate citizenship. Through the power of research, management and leadership programs, and the insights of its 350 corporate members, the Center creates knowledge, value and demand for corporate citizenship. www.BCCorporateCitizenship.org