As Head of Community for Capgemini UK I am constantly astounded by the stories of our people going above and beyond the call of duty for their communities and charities – I often say that I have the best job in the world!
We have stories of our people volunteering time to support vulnerable young people, the elderly and the sick, as foster carers and supporting children to read. The spectrum of involvement is as wide and individual as our people – with one common thread, that our people want to have ‘an impact’. There is often the perception that community work is ‘touchy feely’ with little tangible benefit – and certainly no business benefit. However, the reality is something very different. It is well documented that companies who actively support their people in community work reap the benefits in terms of motivation, retention and loyalty. Additionally, our clients care that we are a responsible business with over 95% of bids asking for evidence.
In order to quantify these benefits and social impacts, Capgemini has decided to enter Business in the Community’s prestigious award, Community Mark. Community Mark, for those of you who don’t know, … or should I say, for those of you who have not gone through the pain of submitting an entry for this award(!) is the mark of excellence for community investment programmes – very sought after and very exclusive. It assesses not just your social impact but also the impact your community work has on your business. For companies who have not entered Community Mark, I can not recommend it highly enough. It is a real ‘deep clean’ of your community investment portfolio. For us, it has so far been a real journey of understanding the depth of our work and pushing the envelope in terms of measuring our social impact …. Not just impressive soundbites, but real, measurable impact. Not easy!
Many influential business leaders and gurus on the subject agree and the other week, I attended a ‘meeting of minds’ at the Business in the Community CR Index Reception. Great news that we have retained our Platinum Rating and it was interesting to see where other companies – including many of our clients and competitors – were placed. The results along with fascinating commentary re responsible business were published in The FT http://www.bitc.org.uk/resources/publications/ft_2011.html. It’s strange though, proportionally, not many companies actually enter. Why is that? Anyone got any views?
More thoughts in my next blog.