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When Corporate Social Responsibility, more commonly referred to as CSR, was in its infancy, it was often considered as ‘a nice thing to do’. But as more businesses understand the purpose behind the acronym and how they can make a positive impact to society, they recognise CSR as an integral part of their overall strategy for success.
There’s a plethora of ways a company can get involved. They can donate, raise money, allow employees to take a day to volunteer somewhere or even look at ways to implement environmentally beneficial processes.
No matter what the support looks like, or how big or small, the fact that your business is demonstrating a commitment to CSR initiatives says a lot about your brand values and who you are. It demonstrates that team work, employee engagement and community involvement are important to you.
It’s true that most of us want to do good deeds so it makes perfect sense that an employer should help their employees achieve this personal goal.
The way an organisation supports its community, society and the environment is a reflection on how it treats its workforce, and when an employee feels valued, respected and supported they become more productive and their job satisfaction increases.
Allowing every employee an opportunity to become a volunteer for the day, acting as a brand ambassador, builds a sense of community within your own company. Taking time away from the office to do this also creates a strong connection with employees and the community you are based in.
CSR activities promote personal development which, in turn, motivate individuals to take pride in what they do. This employee engagement initiative creates the perfect condition for all employees to strive to give their best, be committed to work hard towards the company’s goals and experience an enhanced sense of wellbeing.
CSR and start-ups
CSR is not just for corporates and larger companies, it’s for smaller businesses and start-ups too. In fact, start-ups who have a CSR strategy from the very beginning gain more success.
The chosen CSR activity will help shape and create a strong workplace culture where individuals experience good morale, trust, inspiration, loyalty and have a greater feeling of contributing towards a shared goal.
A start-up committed to be socially responsible is more likely to attract investors. A good example of this is TOMS, the shoe brand, who operate on a ‘buy one give one’ model. This social enterprise attracts investors through its unique selling point of donating a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair bought.
Customer loyalty and increased sales
Many CSR surveys reveal that customers are more likely to be loyal to a company known for its social values and demonstrates a commitment to their communities and the environment. Strong loyalty occurs when corporate values mirror the customers’ personal values.
Over 50% of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for a service or a product if the organisation takes their social responsibility seriously and are known for doing the right thing.
It’s also important to note that millennials now make up a huge percentage of today’s customers. A millennial’s purchasing decision is largely based on an organisation’s ethical practice, sustainability and pro-social messages.
Increase in innovation
When a company chooses a CSR activity aligned to its brand values, it provides employees with a deeper sense of purpose to the work they do and how they fit in with the ‘bigger picture’. This heightened sense of meaning encourages creativity and innovation resulting in new and better ideas.
What makes a better story than learning about people helping and supporting others? Hearing ‘good news’ stories is refreshing and welcomed, so our top tip would be to maximise your exposure.
Invite the local press to cover the story and make sure your company talks about its CSR involvements on all your social media platforms.
How to design your own CSR strategy
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