Avaluanch Media’s Day at the Wasatch Community GardenWhen starting a new job, you don’t really know what to expect. Of course, you have a guesstimate as to your future day-to- day schedule and the company culture, but you’re still a little hazy as to what your new home-away- from home is really about. During my first week employed as a Project Manager for Avalaunch Media, I learned that we would be conducting a company-wide service project that coming Friday. Our crew was scheduled to spend about four hours of “down ‘n dirty work” prepping the Wasatch Community Garden for the upcoming veggie season. I was thrilled to witness the company’s concern for volunteerism efforts firsthand and was also shocked to discover that all employees would still be paid our hourly wage during the time spent in the garden. Wow. After the great experience, I became curious as to the return on investment, (ROI) that businesses receive from similar efforts. After conducting some research, I have condensed my thoughts into the “Top 4 RIO’s of CSR.” #1.) Attract Top-Tier Employees The boss-man may be in the drivers’ seat, but employees are the driving force behind a company’s forward momentum and positive growth. Building a business that attracts the best-of- the-best will produce customer/client satisfaction, excellent results and in turn, an increase to the bottom-line along with so many other benefits. Research shows that CSR, (corporate social responsibility) plays a role in that. Cone Communications discovered that 88% of Millenials gravitate toward companies with pronounced CSR programs and 76% consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. From personal experience, Avalaunch’s volunteerism efforts absolutely played a large part in my desire to join their team. #2.) Develop Working Relationships As new individuals join the corporate family, ensure that they want to stay for the long haul. The development of great working relationships is proven to encourage that behavior. HumanResources.com found that a “lack of relationships/friendships with co- workers” is the third highest reason why employees quit their jobs. During the service project, I intermingled with individuals from every department as well as company executives and their family’s. That night, I found myself excited to return to the office the following day to see my new co-workers turned friends. #3.) Cultivate Brand Differentiation A company who can do good by the customer and the world around them? Now THAT’S a business worth supporting! Sustainable Brands found that 81% of consumers are willing to make sacrifices of convenience or price in order to support social or environmental issues. The #BringBacktheBees campaign by Cheerios is a wonderful example of a brand whose differentiation was positively heightened through consistent implementation of CSR. My Avaluanch clients become even more impressed with our team and capabilities once they learn of the great work we are doing outside the office. #4.) Establish a Team-Oriented Culture If social responsibility efforts are a company core thread, it’s inevitable that qualities such as comradery and selflessness are woven into the business tapestry. As I witnessed our executives show their commitment to community and volunteerism through time, talent and treasure at the service project, I intuitively learned from the top- down what Avaluanch is all about and what type of person I must be in order to thrive here. Can’t wait to see what service-adventure is next for our Avalaunch crew!