I want to share an idea and get your feedback.

In my retained search practice I get to see the way a lot of companies approach their business and their people – every company has a set of values that guide their reality and behavior (but these are not always the same as what is posted on the wall, if you know what I mean). As you might know, I find myself drawn to people and companies that value and commit to making a difference in our community. I find myself wondering about how a company’s focus on service to others might be a potential opportunity to better connect with their employees.

Three great examples of companies that do this well are Golden State Foods, Edwards Lifesciences and Panda Restaurant Group. In all of these companies, employees have a clear understanding that their company is committed to involvement in and support for charitible causes, and each company makes a conscious effort to actively involve their employees (and also to let their employees play a lead role in choosing the causes to support).

Also, each of these three companies appears to have a distinctively strong and special bond with their employees. I’m wonderering about the correlation between employee loyalty and these companys’ choice to make giving back a key focus of their cultural priorities and company identity?

Of course, this connection is surely not the same for every employee; great companies include a wide variety of people and beliefs. Sure, it’s easy to assume that employees who are, themselves, actively involved in the community would appreciate their company’s involvement in making a difference beyond the bottom line. Also, it appears that younger workers (the Milleneal generation) are characterized as seeking a high degree of meaning in their work, so perhaps there is some natural affinity among many in this group.

However, many employees are not motivated to be actively involved in support of charitable causes. So does a company’s contributive approach to the community have any positive impact on the connection with these individuals? If a company’s socially-conscious commitment yields reputation benefits and positive impressions from their customers, couldn’t employees that are not active in the community also be positively affected?

The answers to these questions may not be totally clear, and I don’t know that there is extensive emperical data that provides proof. So let’s create some of our own, shall we? I want to get your input on the simple question that follows. I will compile the answers and share them with everyone.

YOUR QUICK INPUT REQUESTED – Please send a quick email back to me with your YES or NO ANSWER to: “Do you believe that employee loyalty will improve as a direct result of the company choosing to be actively involved in support of charitble causes?”

A Quick Business Update: I was thrilled to have been engaged for a search by a leader that had recently been a candidate of mine in a search – after joining a new company she recommended me and told her CEO that her experience as a candidate with me was so positive that she wanted the same approach to be used with candidates for their company.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.


Jeff Black
Partner, McDermott & Bull Executive Search

Cell: (714) 356-1949
Office: (949) 529-2672
2 Venture, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92618


“Just Do The Right Thing…Every Time”