Corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short, is a growing buzzword in the business world. A recent survey of consumers found that a huge 71% would choose who to shop with based on their values and ethics, with those figures rising even further among millennials (83%), so we can already see that there is a serious business case for adopting socially responsible policies. But what does this mean in practice, and how do you go about it? Let’s take a look.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
In essence, corporate social responsibility is an organisation’s duties to leave positive and long-term impacts on its people, the communities it serves and the wider world in general.
Hot-button topics such as climate change and social justice fall into this category; companies may pursue more eco-conscious ways of operating to reach CSR targets, or commit to hiring a more diverse workforce.
But corporate social responsibility can also work on a more local level. Donating to causes in your local area or region, having senior staff members volunteer their time with charities, and giving employment opportunities to those struggling locally are all great ways to improve your standing.
How to become more socially responsible
Reach out to your customers and find causes that are close to them. This will not only help you with finding ways to bolster your CSR policies, but also helps strengthen your brand’s bond with them as previously discussed.
But also look internally. What’s important to the people within your organisation?
You may be able to align these values with your overall business goals. Can you operate is a more sustainable way? Could a more diverse workforce help you reach new markets?
While sourcing inspiration from a wide network is important, these decisions should always be lead from the top down. Employers are much more likely to buy into new ways of working and behaving, if they see it being lived by those in charge as well.
Benefits of Adopting CSR Policies
Once corporate social responsibility is woven into the operations of your business, you will likely start to notice several benefits:
A more engaged workforce: Studies have suggested that happier workforces are hardworking ones too. If an employee feels as though their values are valued by their employer, they are more likely to buy into reaching their goals too.
Better reputation: Having a strong track record of work in the community can also benefit you in times of trouble for your company. A defence lawyer might be able to use these actions to protect your reputation if you end up in headlines for the wrong reasons.
It does good: Last but by no means least, those good actions and positive contributions to society will make a positive impact on people’s lives – something that many of us find just as rewarding as business success.