Blogs & Comment

Return on Integrity: The New ROI

I heard a remarkable story from a client yesterday. One of their insurance agents recently had a “catastrophic claim” from a man who had lost one leg in a motorcycle accident. The man is married and has small children and it’s clear that his quality of life will never be the same.
After the claim was made, the agent’s first reaction was to calculate the financial impact of the claim on his business. After thinking more about the situation, he realized that the only thing that mattered was how the accident had effected the man’s life. After that, the agent went above and beyond to help the man – including taking him to doctors appointments and helping arrange the prosthesis.
They now consider each other to be close friends.
This remarkable story made me think of a few things related to CSR:
1. While the numbers are important, CSR is fundamentally about people. What your company does socially and environmentally is improving the quality of life of your employees and others in the community. You can’t put quality of life into a spreadsheet.
2. Employees need to know that management will back them 100% when they go above and beyond with customers who really need help. In these cases, the personal and business payoff is incalculable.
3. CSR needs to deliver both “Return on Investment” and “Return on Integrity”. The qualitative is just as important as the qualitative (It’s just harder to measure)
As the sign on Albert Einstein’s office is reputed to have said: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
What’s your company’s return on integrity?