Large Business Nominee
Lisa Miles, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
1. Why do you believe CSR strategy is important for a company?
We recognize that our role as a business leader includes the responsibility to create a positive impact in the communities where we live, work and support. Good corporate citizenship is a tenet of MAXIMUS, which permeates our culture and our communities and our natural environment.
Engaging our employees and giving back to our communities creates a strong spirit at MAXIMUS and further assists us in achieving our founding mission of Helping Government Serve the People.® By following our mission, we illustrate the benefit of a strong corporate social responsibility program.
2. Do you believe that the CSR work you participate in should be affiliated with the work you/your company does?
Corporate citizenship is embedded in our founding mission of Helping Government Serve the People.® We are driven by a common purpose to improve the lives of those we serve with a focus on connecting citizens to critical government programs and resources.
Together with our government partners at the state, federal, and local levels, MAXIMUS is working hard each and every day to provide cost effective services that transform the lives of people around the world. We are keenly focused on providing services that are flexible, scalable and efficient for our government partners, but we never lose sight of the citizens we serve.
Every interaction – from beginning-to-end – that consumers have when seeking a government service becomes part of their Citizen Journey. Whether it’s accessing a government website, calling a contact center, or visiting an agency office, they are all interactions that reflect on their experience and perception of the process. We approach our work with a fundamental goal in mind to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives which is directly affiliated with our corporate responsibility initiatives.
Just as we are focused on providing flexible services, our corporate responsibility initiative strives to provide similar efficiency and effectiveness. As a result, we support a variety of initiatives from child development to health care, community development to employment training opportunities.
3. What makes your company stand out compared to other companies participating in CSR?
Everywhere we serve, we help foster economic development in the community by staffing all of our operations with local employees. Our diverse team communicates in more than 120 languages, helping to eliminate barriers and reduce disparities to match citizens with the services they need.
We make a difference every day:
To further our ability to make a difference in our communities, the MAXIMUS Foundation was founded in 2000 and has provided more than $7 million to organizations that promote personal growth and self-sufficiency through improved health, augmented child and family development, and community development. We support nonprofits that share our commitment in helping disadvantaged populations and underserved communities.
More than $1.1 million in grants were awarded to 431 nonprofits in 2017. The first few months of 2018 have seen more than $600,000 in awarded grants to 206 organizations, including 22 nonprofits in Virginia, 9 in Maryland, and 15 in D.C.
We also know that help is in dire need during times of disaster. As a result, MAXIMUS and the MAXIMUS Foundation donated $150,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to Volunteer Florida, and employees donated more than $12,000 to support 2017 disaster relief efforts.
The MAXIMUS Foundation is funded by our employees, who are matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the Company. It is our people that make our community engagement so impactful.
4. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows your company to have a deeper connection with its clients/customers?
We understand that it’s all about meeting citizen’s expectations. When interacting with their government, a streamlined experience and knowledgeable assistance is an important part of connecting them to critical services. The citizen’s level of satisfaction has a huge effect on the outcomes that matter to government agencies – whether it’s selecting the appropriate health care coverage, moving into productive and sustainable employment, or meeting child support obligations.
When an individual or a family experiences different life events and requires government services, the quality of their interactions with the government is critical to helping them move forward. If they seek health insurance, we can resolve their most important questions during the first call. If they are struggling to find a job due to a disability, we provide a tailored approach to connect them with opportunities for obtaining employment and support services.
Although the nature of our business is to work hand-in-hand with a variety of populations, MAXIMUS employees are always finding ways to deepen their commitment and service to our local communities. From running marathons to setting up food drives, our employees are engaging with the citizens we serve through their volunteer activities. It is a chance to connect with our citizen clients on a personal level, and provide further assistance to make a difference in their daily lives.
MAXIMUS employees understand that a positive experience along the citizens’ journey makes a big impact on their relationship with their government and that a successful journey can make all of the difference in a citizen’s life.
5. What advice would you give to companies trying to participate in CSR?
We recommend three steps:
Step 1. Determine your Company’s mission.
Step 2. Find what your employees are passionate about.
Step 3. Determine the overlaps of steps 1 and 2. Here in lies your primary CSR strategy.
By following these steps, you will find the ability to make an impact by utilizing your Company’s resources and strengths, while also having a passionate group of individuals driven to make a difference.
At MAXIMUS, we are lucky to have employees who are passionate about their work and driven to find ways to extend our mission to better serve citizens.
Our employee participation in the MAXIMUS Foundation’s efforts have shown us what truly matters to them: helping make a significant, positive difference in the lives of our neighbors.