Doing the Right Thing: Corporate Social Responsibility

I have always kept a motto that if you do the right things, the right things will happen for you. This philosophy lends itself well to Company cultures and the environment we all work in. Our parent company, Kajima Corporation, has a significant portion of their website and annual report dedicated to CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility. A closer look at the website shows that Kajima’s CSR has several component strategies, including Compliance, Ethics, the Environment, Safety, the Community, and being a company that people are proud to work for.

A true benefit – a blessing even – that I get in my position is a front row seat to seeing how this dedication to Corporate Social responsibility works.

Kajima USA has an established charitable foundation, The Kajima Foundation, which donates grants to charitable organizations supported by Kajima employees and their families. Typically, the focus of Kajima Foundation is organizations that support disabled or otherwise disadvantaged children. Each year, Kajima sends out a request for grant requests from its employees. I get to see the grant requests generated by Austin employees and forward them to The Kajima Foundation Board for their consideration.

Each of the many grant requests submitted by Austin employees is an expression of the passion and commitment to organizations that are valuable to them, and in many cases, their families. I get to see the personal side of the employees and what drives and inspires them outside of work. It is a wonderful and rewarding peek at the goodness in people we typically only get to know on the professional side of our lives.

It also offers an understanding of the connection and goodness that is created between a Company, its employees and the Community. It is a connection that gets very little recognition or credit. I think this happens for two main reasons and is unfortunate. The two reasons are simple. First, Kajima does not do this for the recognition; the Company does it because it is a right and good thing to do. Second, as for the employees, the same thing applies – it is not done for recognition, but because it is a right and good thing to do and in that way, they may make a positive impact on lives that need a positive impact.

So, for all the bad news that is out there: evil, terrorism, fraud, theft, deceit, bullying, etc. that is created by a small percentage of the humans on earth, there are armies of people countering this “bad stuff” with acts of kindness, generosity, caring and compassion that set an example in many cases, by their own personal involvement.

It is a rewarding and reaffirming experience to see these connections and the gratitude that is created between the organization and its people. Organizations can create a feeling, a culture, that ”we’re all in this together.” When “this” is the business of the organization, that is a good organization. When “this” goes beyond the organization and extends into the community, the world; when the organization sees its purpose as something greater than its business … I think that makes a great organization that people are proud and grateful to be a part of. 

When we contribute to the success of this organization, by extension we are contributing to the betterment of our communities. And without bragging about it, we need to make sure it gets recognized because that recognition, by itself, helps lighten the spirits of those who are in danger of losing faith in our society.

My personal gratitude to all those warriors in the armies countering the ‘bad stuff” that gets the press. You are all an inspiration – keep shining your light.

 

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” 
John Holmes

“There are only two ways to live your life. One as if all that matters is to have someone love and accept you. The other is as though loving and accepting another person is all that matters. Often, when you choose the second you get the first.” 
Shannon L. Alder

“Communities are … built of people who feel they are part of something that is bigger than themselves: a shared goal or enterprise, like righting a wrong, or building a road, or raising children, or living honorably, or worshipping a god. To build community requires only the ability to see value in  others: to look at them and see a potential partner in one's enterprise.” 
Suzanne Goldsmith