Corporate Social Responsibility: Getting Back by Giving Back

corporate social responsibility for employees and benefits
The organizational benefits of community service have been well-documented. And it adds up to more than good feelings alone. People, it turns out, really like volunteering, it's even better if their employer supports community service activities. So, companies that give back get back, too -- in the form of employees who work better, who are more skilled, and who generally like their companies more.

The Value of Doing Good

The precise meaning of corporate social responsibility will vary from company to company. But it flourishes in places where employees are given the room to see service opportunities and to run with them. For us at College Coach, that meant the opportunity to create a Community Support Committee. Now, we use our passion for education to help underserved students conquer the college application process. We already knew that applying for college admission and financing was one of the biggest stresses for students and their families. Imagine doing it at a high school with few financial resources, limited guidance, and incredibly high counselor to student ratios (the national average is almost 500 to 1). For those students, the process itself can become a barrier to access.

Supporting Employee Projects

Our committee has fielded requests from connections we have with community organizations and our corporate partners. We've worked with Lighthouse, a Kansas City, Missouri, organization that assists women who have had an unplanned pregnancy. We've worked with the Dana Farber Workforce Development program in Boston, which provides mentorship, internship and job training for high school students. Our finance experts conducted workshops for Dana Farber program participants on how to evaluate the true cost of college and the long-term impact of loans, and also helped seniors complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Johnson and Johnson sponsors a program called Bridge2Employment and helps youths in the Taunton, MA area explore careers in health care. For this program, our college admission experts presented to participants on college preparation and the application process. But the committee helped us formalize the process.

With Bright Horizons' support, our experts (who are located all over the country) now provide programming and advice for families who need it in their own home towns. These efforts range from volunteering for FAFSA Day Massachusetts, to presenting and advising students at a low-income high school in Maine, to providing personalized college admissions advice to students in the True Mentors program in Hoboken, NJ.

Benefits on Every Level

It's satisfying on every possible level, especially when something wonderful happens -- like when a woman from Lighthouse earns her nursing degree and begins working in a hospice as she parents her lovely daughter. As an employee of Bright Horizons, I can tell you the benefits of companies and community service go beyond the people we serve. April may be National Volunteer Month, but we're grateful to be part of a corporate culture that makes social responsibility a priority; one that encourages us to give back to the communities in which we live and work year round. What form does community service take on at your organization? Let us know. 
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
corporate social responsibility for employees and benefits

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