How Corporate Citizenship Creates Positive Outcomes
In recent developments, leading CEOs signed the Business Roundtable statement about the "purpose of the corporation." While this is an encouraging first step, signing a statement is something different than actually putting employees and the community first. Actions speak louder than words! Rejecting shareholder primacy isn’t a new concept for members for our Certified B Corporation community. We already deliver value to all stakeholders and are being awarded our choice to put people over profits.
Clarity of purpose is empowering.
At Success Rehabilitation, this concept is being applied to design our new “corporate citizen program,” giving all team members a chance to engage in worthy causes from environmental issues to community concerns. In our case, the term “citizenship” can refer to everything we do that impacts society and community. As a Certified B Corporation, our ability to do social good for our clients, team members, consumers, and partners is a core part of our identity. That is why we have an unwavering commitment to consider our impact on society and provide our team members an infrastructure to make a difference in the local and global community.
Building our social capital
As a social enterprise, we evaluate our actions based on our impact on society and the communities that we serve - not just our fiscal performance. As a privately held organization, herein lies our advantage. The absence of short-term pressures during reporting periods allows us the flexibility to cultivate an authentic commitment to our communities and fulfill our mission for those who have experienced brain injury. When we look into the mirror held by society, we can ask the right questions:
Do we like what we see? If no, what should we do about?
This question gives us clarity of purpose. When there is clarity, an organization can choose to have a significant social, environmental, and fiscal impact. The combination of these pillars aligns with our values, along with the other 2,932 certified B Corporations across the world.
We have found that providing the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of an individual's role and impact on the community encourages participation in the design of initiatives that strengthen community stewardship. We facilitate these understandings through collective observations in our community & environmental committees, tasked with the creation, implementation, and stewardship of programming throughout the company. These committee members are entrusted to following established organizational core values and incorporate personal experiences in the design of a thoughtful corporate citizens program. This connection is key. Gee and McGarty (2013) noted that change-oriented behaviors create connection and commitment from all parties involved. These parties develop a sense of obligation to the communities they serve. Thus, they are more likely to encourage the efforts of that community partner to better itself as well by supporting their activities.
Corporate citizenship to create positive outcomes
Building a corporate citizen program provides many benefits to both mental and physical health. Participation in community-based activities can help to counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. It can also improve self-confidence and provide a sense of purpose, which enhances the quality of life for our clients and team members. Enhanced quality of life instills hope, facilitates new compensatory strategies, and promotes a more positive image of self and society (Klein, 2018a; O’Sullivan et al., 2017). Research suggests that having a favorable opinion on personal quality of life helps to sustain individual effort in recovery from mental or physical differences (Laudet & White, 2008).
Our internal care team considers the framework of recovery capital when developing individualized treatment plans for our clients, who have all have sustained a brain injury. Cloud and Granfield (2008) posit that recovery capital is the entirety of all resources, internal and external that can be used to sustain recovery and healthfulness. Social capital is a component of recovery capital, comprised of the sum of resources that each person has as a result of their relationships. Social capital works for marginalized populations, such as the brain injury community, because it is structured around interpersonal relationships that provide access to new opportunities.
When we integrate as corporate citizens, we enhance community and grow Success.
At Success, this provides us clarity to why we choose to engage in a corporate citizens program and to maintain our B Corporation status. It helps our clients feel engaged and proud. It helps us further understand to importance of helping others in need. It breeds confidence in stronger, more supportive new communities and relationships. These relationships change over the life course of a person and an organization, creating transformative new iterations of identity, or as in our case, clarity of purpose.
“People want to buy from, work for, and invest in companies that serve a higher purpose than maximizing profit at any cost to people, communities, and the natural world on which all life depends. People are demanding a new social contract between business and society in which business and the capital markets create long-term value for all stakeholders. People are demanding it, in part, because they’ve seen a credible alternative in the B Corp movement that is leading the transformation from 20th-century shareholder capitalism to 21st-century stakeholder capitalism." - Jay Coen Gilbert ( B Corporation Founder)
Becoming a Certified B Corporation was an essential component of Success Rehabilitation's strategic direction. It is indicative of our commitment to a compassionate, clinically modern company that is a champion for the rights and protections of people living with brain injury.
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* This post was written by Success Rehabilitation’s Eric Scott Klein, LSW and Kevin Tangney, MBA. Eric is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist passionate for working with underserved populations. Kevin leads the marketing and social impact initiatives.