You've got talent, but do you know it?

You know your company is full of great people. But are they doing their best work? More specifically, are you empowering them to do their best work? What a wonderful opportunity--and responsibility--to find the strengths of the people in the company and align those strengths with corporate goals. That's one of the top jobs of an executive.

But it's not as easy as it sounds. How can a leader give a talented employee the opportunity to shine through new responsibilities, but delay making big staffing changes until the talented employee proves herself? The answer might be as easy as 123, as in CSR. Corporate Social Responsibility. If you're struggling to identify internal talent, acquire talent from the outside, and retain that talent, maybe it’s because your CSR plan could use a little brushing up. After all, 88 percent of new job seekers choose employers based on strong corporate social responsibility values. And 86 percent of these employees would consider leaving if the company’s corporate social responsibility values no longer met their expectations. Offering a rising talent within your company a leadership opportunity within the CSR program is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to developing skills and offer an employee the chance to demonstrate those skills at the same time. Without restructuring, promoting or realigning existing staff responsibilities within the business operations until you and the employee are ready.

Empowering talent is a terrific example of generosity in the workplace, driving corporate growth through a commitment to ideals. And isn't that the whole point behind CSR in the first place? David Wine, president and CEO of MAX Insurance Agency, Inc., a global provider of wholeness-based insurance products, said it so well in a recent communication to MAX employees.

"If we live for ourselves only, if we close ourselves off from others, if we live only for this world and the things it offers, we become like the Dead Sea. We get toxic, our life-giving energy is sapped, we become lifeless, and we offer little to others and to ourselves. On the other hand, if we give to others and give to our world, if we share our gifts and talents, if we open up to the possibilities life gives us, we become more and more energized and full of life.  You see, we need an outlet or we die. We were made to share, to give, to affirm the interconnectedness of our lives."

Employees want to work for executives who offer them opportunities to embrace and lead a socially responsible lifestyle, at home and in the workplace. They want to give money to favorite charities. And volunteer time to a favorite cause. And recycle, helping to keep the environment sustainable. And serve in leadership roles, like nonprofit boards and committees at kids’ schools, and in the company, too. They want to buy products that support a cause. And care for people in need. And care for themselves and their families. Working for good companies–doing business with good companies–is a must-have in any socially responsible lifestyle.