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Corporate Responsibility: Creating A Culture of Caring
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Corporate Responsibility: Creating A Culture of Caring - Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: Creating A Culture of Caring

Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: Creating A Culture of Caring

The world “culture” is thrown around so frequently nowadays that it’s a leading candidate for next year’s forbidden words list. Everywhere you look, some commenter is making an assertion about a professional sports team’s “team culture” or some up-and-coming firm’s “company culture.” Like many of our buzziest words, it loses meaning with overuse, and its definition expands to include premises it was never meant to describe. Yet there is a reason buzzwords take hold: they tap into a very real concept whose validity and importance we connect with. Company culture is real, and although it can be difficult to define, it’s often very easy to recognize.

Your company doesn’t need a culture of caring in order to be socially responsible, but without it, corporate responsibility might just be something the marketing department gets put in charge of, with a certain tradition of giving X dollars and Y person-hours to. When a culture of caring exists, CSR is a lot more: it’s an investment by everyone involved, each member of the team embracing and (even better) identifying with the spirit of contributing to the advancement of profit, people, and planet. When these personal and corporate identities line up, the gradual but nearly unavoidable result is the awareness by outsiders, clients and competitors alike, of this identity, which is a way to say “branding” without resorting to yet another overused buzzword.

As Curt Richardson—founder and CEO of OtterBox—writes in a column for Inc.com, one way to develop this culture of caring is to empower employees to express the company’s spirit. Every employee was given a $200 voucher to donate to any non-profit organization he or she chose, with a challenge to take the initial gift and make it grow over a 24-day period, in celebration of National Volunteer Month. Some held bake sales, some organized car washes, and some hosted concerts. At the end of the challenge, employees raised $266,249.76 for 156 charities worldwide. The reach of this effort goes beyond those charities: as Richardson explains it, participants “feel inspired, uplifted and refreshed by this activity; those feelings come out in the work they do, which touches our customers and business partners. They are oozing with OtterBox culture and that is the OtterBox story.”

Of course, culture is not merely made up of the big events like month-long projects. It is part of the daily life and breath of the company. It can be sensed and nurtured in the frequent visits by schoolkids on field trips to see what goes on in your office space. It’s felt when the conference room is offered for meetings of neighborhood civic clubs, or when local charities are invited to speak at monthly lunches hosted by rotating departments. When caring is not merely an initiative but a primary motivation, opportunities for its expression become easy to spot, and a culture of caring is almost certainly the expected result.

Reference Link:
Curt Richardson for Inc.com: http://www.inc.com/curt-richardson/how-to-cultivate-a-culture-of-caring.html

 

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Corporate Responsibility: Creating A Culture of Caring - Executive Leadership Articles

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