Friday, 1 February 2013

Corporate Global Citizenship

When it comes to corporate global citizenship, it is no longer enough to say that it is about “complying with the law, treating employees fairly, and donating money to good causes” (Crittenden et al, 2011). Currently, expectations and demand for global performance are rising and company success is based largely on responsibility to business practices.

I think that employee volunteering should be a large component of corporate global citizenship. This is based on a study from TimeBank by the British Psychological Society (2011), showing that most employees considered volunteering an excellent way to introduce new skills into the workplace. As I can vouch, volunteering not only produces a sense of self-satisfaction, it also increases happiness, wellbeing, and responsibility; all key to a healthy and proficient work environment. As ITT (2012) claims, “a great company can be measured by its people”, and if employees spend time volunteering, they will be globally responsible people. With that said, there are many other factors making up corporate global citizenship.

According to Crittenden et al (2011), corporate global citizenship is about developing relationships between “the company and … employees, customers, communities, suppliers, investors, … NGOs and activists through the implementation of the company’s strategies and operating practices.” Definitions are broad and the concept could incorporate understanding the operating environment, knowing management domains, developing a stakeholder engagement program, and appropriately measuring/reporting activities related to global corporate citizenship (Berger, Cunningham, & Drumwright, 2007).

Companies such as HP Pty Ltd, Abbott Laboratories, and ITT Engineered for Life are fulfilling many of these requirements. They maintain global citizenship through inclusion and diversity, workplace safety, training and mentoring, fair labour practices, and human rights agreements. 

Global Citizenship In My Workplace

I had trouble thinking about ways in which my workplace exhibited Global Citizenship but through reading other people’s examples, I have come to realize that perhaps there are aspects that I had not originally thought of, as well as ways Global Citizenship could be improved.

I work at a number of childcare centers in Sydney and as a casual worker, I don’t attend meetings or training sessions so I’m not aware of major issues raised. However, working at a number of different centers does allow me to see more than the full-time workers in terms of the cultural diversity of both the children and the employees. The classrooms showcase artwork and images from around the world and the children learn about major cultural holidays and festivals. The majority of employees are from Australia, Asia and Croatia and I find it interesting to see the differences in teaching styles between the different ethnicities. I also find it really interesting that regardless of the children’s backgrounds and upbringings, they are all able play together and enjoy their time at the childcare. I think this is a testament to the cultural diversity that surrounds them.

In terms of what could be done differently, there is definitely a lot of waste; food, nappies, craft supplies, etc. Unfortunately, we must abide by the guidelines and this means that more recycling and environmentally healthy options are something that needs to be considered by head office, not the employees at each center.