It is fairly common these days to see corporations participating in highly publicized and externally facing campaigns that show them doing a lot of good. But, it seems that these efforts are overlooking something blatantly obvious…
Community Optics vs Internal Reality
Sure, it makes sense that because of consumer chatter on Facebook and Twitter, companies are learning to do good in the community as a way to curry favor and reap the increased profits it brings. I have no beef with companies embracing corporate social responsibility. Far from it. But why is it that a company’s internal culture is rarely a part of this incredibly important discussion?
Skin Deep is Still Shallow
It doesn’t matter how many ‘we do good for the planet’ programs a company may embrace. The bottom line is that if you don’t have good internal people practices your company will suffer. Sure, you might be making a profit, but your talent might also be leaving because you are not doing good by them.
I can think of a number of challenging work environments that have successfully developed community engagement campaigns to enhance external optics in order to build sales. Unfortunately, within many of these companies, a good deal of their people are deeply unhappy because of poor work climates. Imagine the increased profits these companies would realize if while doing their good in the community their talent was also engaged and passionate about the workplace?
I scratch my head as to why internal corporate culture is still overlooked in discussions of corporate social responsibility given its fundamental significance to the bottom line. Is it because impacting positive change on leadership behavior can be difficult that it’s frequently passed over? Or, is it because it’s simply easier, flashier and more exciting to focus on external programs of ‘doing good’?