42% of people’s perception of a company is based on corporate social responsibility activities – Forbes (Feb 2020)
In broad terms, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) generally has three strands.
- A company’s commitment to carry out their business ethically and sustainably;
- How they prioritise their employees’ wellbeing in a supportive and diverse working environment; and
- The extent to which a company is engaging with communities.
Although some leaders are sceptical, we look at why a successful corporate social responsibility strategy can impact your business bottom line.
Did you know that 82% of millennials consider CSR efforts when deciding where to work? According to Cone Communications (2016), 76% will accept a pay cut to work for a company with strong social values.
90% of Gen Zers believe companies should be held accountable to help social and environmental issues. Whilst 75% will research a company to see if it is honest when taking a stand on issues.
Why are these figures interesting for businesses?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted social inequalities, domestic and global moral obligations. The light now shines on how businesses give back to their local communities, build socially responsible relationships and support employee wellbeing.
One-off CSR initiatives no longer cut it. The reality is that potential (and existing) employees want to work with companies that operate ethically and sustainably. So, to attract and retain top talent, aim to embed your CSR initiatives into your working practices, company culture and core values.
Employer brand enhancement
A company’s reputation is based on public perception and is critical for building client confidence. Being socially responsible portrays a positive image.
It also reinforces your employer reputation. A company’s greatest asset is its people, so employees interacting with the local community also indirectly markets the company.
It can strengthen existing client relationships and attract new customers!
Did you know employees are likely to perform better when engaging in socially responsible activities?
Set up a voluntary CSR team within your company and enlist individuals who are already sustainably/environmentally conscious that develop fun and engaging initiatives. You can also bring together different departments together to engage in activities collaboratively.
Review working practices
Employee wellbeing (financial, physical and mental) has never been more significant.
Is it time to review and enhance statutory leave provisions? Are you introducing flexible working from day one or incorporating volunteering (online or physical) initiatives?
CSR initiatives can help your staff develop skills. For example, a junior employee organising a companywide charity challenge can be an opportunity to develop their planning and organisational skills.
Alternatively, volunteering at events could help an employee’s presentation or communication skills whilst sharing valuable insight into what you do as a business.
As societal attitudes towards CSR change, so have consumer and employee expectations.
When properly implemented, CSR can impact your business bottom line. Now is the time for meaningful action.