BECOMING A MODEL CITIZEN
Although many companies question the extent of their public responsibilities, many more wonder about their roles as corporate citizens. Our quality role models believe that taking the lead in publicly important areas is an essential part of a successful system. These areas include supporting education, volunteering for and funding community services, contributing to industry and trade activities, and promoting quality improvement.
USAA: Encouraging Volunteer Service in the Community
- USAA has a corporate culture that puts superior service to its members and customers first—but being a good neighbor in its communities is close behind.
- The motivation for participation at USAA stems from this culture and from its chairman and chief executive offiçer, retired Air Force General Robert T. Herres.
- Herres believes strongly in support of the community. He organized alil community support activities, including philanthropy and volunteers, under a vice president of community relations who reports directly to him.
- In addition, he personally sets an example and participates in community efforts.
The USAA Volunteer Corps matches USAA employees vvith community nonprofit agencies that need additional helpers to achieve their humanitarian goals. in 1996, more than 4.400 USAA volunteers contributed över 190,000 hours to their communities.Over 350 initiatives began in San Antonio alone. They volunteer hours to whatever activities they wish to support.
Support for Charities from USAA
In 1996, USAA employees donated $3.6 million to United Way. USAA then provided an additional $2 million in matching corporate funds, bringing the total to $5.6 million. Although USAA comprises less than 2 percent of the workforce in San Antonio, USAA's United Way contributions accounted for one out of every six dollars of the total monies donated in the community in 1996, or 17 percent of the total contributions, USAA has become a community leader because it is committed to service and has organized internally to provide that service.
- The organization helps identify opportunities for service, and gives employees a simple way to find out what needs to be done and to volunteer their assistance.
- Supported by a corporate culture that values community service, USAA employees choose to look outward and to give freely of their knowledge and skills. The difference is one of attitude;
- Either a company believes it must serve its community or it does not. If it believes it must lead and support publicly important purposes, it must find ways to identify those purposes and to facilitate corporate and employee involvement.
- As USAA has shown, an organized approach to community service targets the areas of greatest need while attracting the largest number of volunteers.
IMC: A Culture of Caring
As a small company, IMC enjoys the same sense of community that exists in small towns. Associates know and care about each other and their community. "Everybody here realizes that they owe their success to the community," says John Bloomstine, president of IMC. "Our clients are all basically within a 50-mile radius, even though they have operations worldwide."
IMC associates choose which community organizations to support and how to support them. IMC encourages their participation, but does not dictate how they should be involved. Through their actions, the leaders at IMC demonstrate the value of community service. Associates respond with widespread involvement of their own, including contributions that earned IMC the Gold Award of the United Way of Erie County.