Corporate Citizenship Drives Business Success
CARSTAR has made significant inroads against a broad range of companies that are only now exploring ways to strategically integrate community engagement practices into their corporate DNA as a means of supporting longer term business success. The Hamilton based private company started in 1994 and currently has over 100 locations in Canada and 300 in the United States all focused on high quality collision repairs.
Their corporate citizenship framework includes highly integrated sustainability and cause-based philanthropy programs which connect a broad range of stakeholders including: franchise partners, employees, a national charity, and government. Their “Give, Green and Growth” program, for example, enables franchise partners to have local community impact through fundraising efforts for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The program also provides incentives for franchise partners to exceed industry sustainability standards related to materials recycling.
CARSTAR’s success, as a business and a corporate citizen with a long history of positive community impact, is built on a leadership ethos of doing well by doing good. Their leadership team’s highly visible commitment to the firm’s community engagement efforts reflects this ethos to employees which in turn promotes a corporate giving culture and builds a stronger employee/employer bond. The strength of this bond, according to most workplace surveys , has a positive influence on employee engagement and productivity levels – commonly measured through efficiency ratios, performance management and attrition/absentee rate metrics.
CARSTAR’s community engagement practices are highly integrated with its talent management strategy. According to Dennis Concordia, CARSTAR’s VP, Human Resources, the firm’s community engagement profile is integrated with its recruitment materials and is often cited by candidates as one of the reasons they want to work with CARSTAR. Recent studies also confirm that this positive corporate citizenship profile is a key employment deal expectation . Other corporate citizenship efforts, like their “Soaps It Up” initiative provide additional employee social networking opportunities outside of the workplace which build corporate pride while supporting local community causes. Finally, CARSTAR collaborates with Skills Development Canada to promote trade/apprentice program to address future industry talent needs.
As with any program, some scheduled maintenance is required. Dennis mentioned that CARSTAR will periodically look under the hood of their community and employee engagement programs, through both qualitative and quantitative lens, to ensure both are integrated and running smoothly. With the combination of CARSTAR’s core business competency of building successful networks; its leadership commitment and support; a corporate giving culture; and an employee population that is keen on community involvement, there is no doubt that CARSTAR will continue to showcase the integration of business and community success.
Written by Dave Nanderam, Ph.D., President of TapestryBuilder
 See for example, http://www.workplacerewards.com/communication/linking-employee-engagement-to-community-involvement/
 See for example, Deloitte’s 2011 Impact Survey. http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/About/Community-Involvement/volunteerism/impact-day/f98eec97e6650310VgnVCM2000001b56f00aRCRD.htm.