2018 CARE Awards Highlight Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

How CARE-ing companies are engaging their employees in their local community and why it matters
2018 CARE Award winning companies
Representatives from 2018 winning companies gather after the awards breakfast. See more photos here.

A company with outstanding community stewardship, workplace flexibility, employee well-being and culture is a company that is constantly making its community a better place. On Nov. 8, Northern Virginia Family Service’s annual CARE Awards recognized 23 local companies with exemplary programs and policies in all of these areas. These CARE-ing companies are proactively helping Northern Virginia become a better place not just for their employees, but for everyone in our community to work, live and play.

Panel Discussion: Community Engagement Strategies to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Leaders from three CARE Award-winning companies spotlighted impactful community engagement strategies that increase employee productivity, pride and engagement. Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer, associate editor, moderated the panel discussion.

“Over 80 percent of our team are millennials,” shared panelist Darcy Smith, senior vice president of team development at Custom Ink, which has created its Three Hearts volunteer teams to empower team members to give back. “A very big part of why they come to Custom Ink is this strong sense of giving back… It’s a big reason of why they stay.”

By 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce — closely resembling the demographic at Custom Ink today. Corporate social responsibility is a priority for millennial employees: 62 percent are willing to take a pay cut to work for a responsible company. (Sources: Millennial Branding, Cone Communications)

Across the board, companies that employ corporate citizenship are 1.7 times more likely to see reductions in employee turnover. (Source: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship) CARE Award-winning companies are familiar with and embrace this trend.

“We have employees staying with us because of what we’re doing in the community,” notes Chuck Kuhn, president and CEO of JK Moving Services. Kuhn shared details regarding his company’s community farm initiative and how it is collaborating with local partners to meet the needs of the community.

CARE-ing companies engage their employees from start to finish in these types of initiatives: “[Employees] determine in a very grassroots way what causes Custom Ink supports… They own it. They lead projects around it,” said Smith.

In addition, companies are twice as likely to report success in enhancing reputation when they implement corporate social responsibility practices. (Source: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship) All three panelists agreed that their customers expect corporate social responsibility to be a part of the companies with which they do business.

We’re all in this for a greater purpose… I think that all makes us like each other better,” said Sheila Murphy, founder and partner of FlexProfessionals, LLC. FlexProfessionals gives back to the community through mission-driven initiatives designed to share the thought leadership of its employees and empower people in transition or re-entering the workforce.

Complementing (and in many cases, coming from) CARE-ing companies’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are strong employee well-being, workplace flexibility and workplace culture.

We engage our employees by embracing a 100% flexible work model,” shared Murphy. “Everyone has their own custom schedule unique to them. All we care about is what they produce.”

“We call it our ‘bring your whole self to work’ culture,” Kathy Albarado of Helios HR added during her acceptance remarks.

Congratulations, 2018 CARE Award winners!

See our full list of 2018 winning companies below. Special congratulations go to 13-time CARE Award winner National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 10-time winners Custom Ink and Consumer Technology Association (CTA)!

Learn more about the CARE Awards:

Application process

Committee members

Honor roll (all winners since 1992)

Corporate Engagement Opportunities at NVFS