Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Importance of Communicating Shared Value

The reading this week regarding creating shared value made me think of UPMC's investment (100 million over 10 years) in the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program. This investment occurred several years ago, before they were generally thought of as a disliked entity among regional stakeholders and citizens. So, one would presume this was less about reputation management and more about affecting their future bottom line while "doing good." Their thinking behind this investment was to ensure they had a robust pool of workforce in which to hire and grow as a company. For them, and for all businesses, workforce development is integral to profit maximization.

However, I got to thinking if they actually maximized and put into full practice this example of CSV. Did they work, or have they worked closely with public schools to ensure their workforce demands are met? Have they communicated how the Promise has benefited the entire community as a whole and their company? I don't think this is the case. As a result, I believe the implementation of the program has behaved more akin to a corporate social responsibility program - because their connections to business profit seem to be limited. And, to boot, four "Promise" classes have graduated, so there are certainly measurements to show.

At the same time, maybe it's too early to tell. In the long run, a highly educated workforce and pool of talented college graduates may turn out to make UPMC more competitive in the long run.

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