The Social Responsibility of U.S. Mid-Market Companies
While most of the rhetoric around conscious capitalism in the United States focuses on big businesses and startups, mid-market companies, with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion dollars per year, account for a third of US gross domestic product (GDP). Within this market niche, traditional sector companies provide close to 30 million jobs for Americans annually and are undervalued both in terms of their merits and in terms of their potential to address societal inequalities. With new narratives and leadership emerging from among the ranks of successful traditional sector brands, encouragement and acknowledgment from government players and civil service stakeholders can go along way in promoting corporate social responsibility amongst this crucial business demographic.
Mid-market companies are well positioned to form strategic, profitable CSR strategies due to flexibility and market position. In most cases, startups and smaller companies are focused on survival and do not have the time or resources to build social responsibility into their strategies. Large, multinational firms have the funds to form and expand complex CSR programs and play significant roles in disrupting traditional charity models and bringing about a new conscious capitalism. However, mid-sized companies are the life blood of the American economy and the American workers. They deserve their place within the service and philanthropy narrative. Mid-sized companies are perfectly positioned to be leaders in the CSR space, as they can financially support the expansion of programs that enhance social capital, and can provide active solutions to community problems that multinationals cannot meet, such as meeting housing shortages, repairing infrastructure, and employing our skilled laborers.
Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, a growing mid-sized roofing company based in Irvine, California, is a successful example of CSR strategy deployed by a mid-sized company to support its growth goals and underscore the value of their skilled labor through skill-based service. Their company stands as proof of the mutual benefits gained when skills-based companies align with social responsibility to make a difference in the world and create positive company cultures that emphasize employee value. Corporate giving and employee engagement lie at the core of Antis’ strategy, and all programs are also geared towards improving internal confidence and supporting workers’ wellbeing.
This year, Charles Antis, founder and CEO, with support from his team, donated over $700,000 through cash and in-kind donations to more than 40 non-profit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, Alzheimer’s Orange County, Ronald McDonald House Orange County, Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove, OneOC, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Families Forward. Beyond just establishing good will, Antis selects partners based on employee suggestion and organizations’ ability to offer service donation where contractors can help to build shelter for those in need. Antis donated 10 large-scale maintenance projects, 100 leak repairs for families enduring hardship, and honors employee requests for pro-bono work to aid families in need.
Internally, the Antis team ensures that social responsibility creates the foundation of the company’s culture and encourages employees at all levels to engage in the company’s wider community mission. Employees at Antis are hired in part for their desire to be part of a team that is doing good, and employees are valued not only for the skill sets they bring to the company but also for their unique ability to help meet community needs. Through this unique employee value proposition, which positions the company as a conduit to service and personal development, the company boasts a retention rate unprecedented in its industry. Employees often comment that they did not understand the value of their skill until working for Antis, and as a result, see themselves and their peers in a more positive light. Further, as Antis continues to grow strategically into new areas, they discover that introducing the company through its CSR has resulted in an immediate expansion of its customer base.
As Antis scales its CSR alongside its growth, Charles Antis preaches what he practices and actively tries to illustrate to other mid-sized companies the return on impact associated with service strategies. He believes that incorporating CSR into company culture, business planning, and customer experience ensures success.
[Editor's Note: Antis Roofing & Waterproofing won the Best Corporate Steward - Small & Middle-Market Business award at the 2017 Corporate Citizenship Awards, also known as the Citizens Awards. To see a list of all 2017 Citizens Awards winners, click here.]