Linking Job Evaluation
and Corporate Citizenship

Management forums like The Conference Board and Forbes have noted the increasing frequency of corporate citizenship (CC) thinking that is showing up on the business leadership radar as a means of impacting functional priorities and longer term business success.

Functions like Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, which usually lead CC efforts, are accumulating deep job/function-specific CC knowledge and insights that can be leveraged to support other functional priorities. Existing employee surveys can be modified to include items that measure the nature of employee involvement in CC programs. However, these surveys are employee-centric and typically anchored to a Rewards focus. Job-centric data must also be collected and analyzed in order to evolve CC thinking into the corporate DNA. Most companies already have this data mining expertise – their job evaluation (JE) program.

JE data collection templates already capture job data that reflects the nature of expected employee engagement with external stakeholders (e.g. vendors, government agencies) unique to a particular organization function and level. These templates can be easily modified to collect volunteer engagements insights specific to common JE elements like: decision-making level, leadership orientation and knowledge depth. The insights could be used to compare expected [internal] job competencies with skills and behaviors applied in volunteer settings as a means of mapping and developing an organization’s human capital inventory. This additional data capture could integrate with the job evaluation maintenance cycle as employees provide input specific to new/significantly changed roles or as part of the performance management process where employee provide input on learning and development opportunities. It’s interesting to also note that the common elements included in JE plans used in private sector applications are the same used in similar plans for non-profit sector applications. This further substantiates the value and transferability of cross-sector learning at the job level. Can volunteer Board placements for mid-management employees support your firm’s leadership development program?

From a corporate perspective, collected data will paint a current picture of the types and nature of community engagement activities across different employee demographics. These insights can be used to calibrate existing CC strategy and programs to more strongly resonate with employees. Programs that resonate with employees promote a stronger emotional connection to the employer which is correlated with workforce productivity and turnover costs. What role do employees play in shaping CC program offering at your firm?

Although job expectations evolve to support changing business priorities they always retain two common characteristics at the corporate DNA level: improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Over time, with its job design expertise, the HR function can combine CC insights and related leadership directives into future job expectations. For example, Organization Design practitioners will design senior level or public-facing roles with an expectation to accumulate, manage and communicate a deeper level of external stakeholder understanding as part of a corporate risk management framework. Rewards practitioners can help to develop relevant metrics for linking CC goals and variable pay programs.

Through efficiency lens, Talent Management practitioners will include community partnerships as a cost-effective and customized skills development alternative. Similar to sailors who “tack” across the wind as a means of moving forward, cross-sector partnerships offer opportunities for employees to advance professionally by gaining broader technical or leadership experiences through application of skill sets in different operational environments under different team and resource circumstances. Does your HR function play a strategic or administrative role in leveraging your firm’s CC efforts?

Today’s organizations can draw from many sources of intelligence as they refine their CC framework. However, in order to embed CC thinking into the corporate DNA, similar to a risk management or customer service focus, changes need to take place at the job level.  Once integrated into job expectations, these changes will collectively shape the corporate culture towards one of doing well by doing good.

Written by Dave Nanderam, Ph.D., President of TapestryBuilder