Corporate citizenship

Paul Eberle, chief executive of the Milwaukee-based law firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., believes good corporate citizenship is not only of value to the community, but also plays an important role in the hiring and retention of great talent.

“Attracting, retaining and developing talent is on the top of every CEO’s strategic to-do list. Even in periods of higher unemployment when more people are seeking fewer jobs, finding and retaining great people can be challenging. What does this have to do with ‘good corporate citizenship’ you might be asking? My answer: everything.

“Good people want to work for good companies. Thankfully, there are many good companies around this region. Good companies support many of the underfunded non-profits that provide the last safety net to the poorest among us. Good companies donate employee time and talent to improve our schools, support our arts groups, and sustain critical civic organizations. Good companies reinvest profits to build up our communities.

“This year, our firm started a program called ‘Whyte Lights,’ giving every employee $100 with two simple rules: Do something good with it, and let us know what you did. The participation was tremendous, and the results were moving. Story after story described the impact $100 had on the people who received it, and on the givers who gave it. Whyte Lights didn’t bring in any new clients, but delivered outstanding results as everyone involved made good corporate citizenship something very personal. We’ve captured these stories on our website.

“Good corporate citizenship helps employees feel good about the places they work – and that can be a real competitive advantage. It’s January, the beginning of a new year. What’s your plan for being a good corporate citizen?”

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