Corporate social responsibility – why it matters
The idea of responsible business isn’t a new one, but it’s gained a lot of traction in recent years. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a term that’s recognised worldwide. Broadly speaking, it demonstrates the moral and ethical obligations of a company towards their employees, the environment, the economy and society. There are so many ways that corporate social responsibility can be implemented. In fact, anything a company does in order to ‘give back’ to society, counts as CSR. This could be sponsoring a charity event, creating open-source software, offering scholarships, donating to environmental causes, or any other action.
There are many reasons why CSR initiatives are increasingly recognised as a priority. Partly, because the importance placed on the environment and ethical issues is growing amongst society as a whole, and partly because companies are realising that a successful corporate social responsibility strategy has numerous advantages.
Read on for an overview some of the many reasons why corporate responsibility is so important.
It’s the right thing to do
As business owners, we have a moral duty to conduct our business in a way that’s considerate of society, employees and the environment. And we are perfectly placed to actively do good. It’s not all give give give either, because your company relies on the society and wider world that it’s part of. So treating them well makes sense for your business.
Treating your employees well isn’t simply an act of decency. Doing so fosters happy employees, and happy employees have been proven to be better at their jobs. Not to mention more loyal to your company. Workers that feel they’re treated badly are likely to leave for a better opportunity. They may even go on strike. Neither course of action is desirable for you as an employer.
Corporate responsibility attracts the best employees
Corporate social responsibility initiatives make you an attractive employer. People want to work for a responsible company. This is especially true for millennials, 75% of whom would take a pay cut in order to do so. CSR, therefore, has the huge advantage that it attracts the best talent. It attracts those candidates who are on-board with your ethos, your values, and who are likely to be a far better fit for your company overall.
Responsible policies regarding your employees are a huge draw too. People want to work for companies who value, respect and appreciate them (and why wouldn’t they?).
It brings a higher purpose;
A corporate social responsibility strategy gives your company a purpose beyond making money. It gives your workforce a goal that isn’t purely financial. They’re not just doing their jobs because they’re getting paid, but because they’re working towards something bigger. It unites team members as they work towards a shared goal. It allows them a sense of fulfilment in their work. The result is increased employee engagement, and the greater the level of staff engagement, then the better a company tends to perform overall.
Having a sense of purpose also gives a huge boost to staff morale, as well as increasing levels of motivation. This in turn makes employees more productive.
It improves your image, and your profits
The better your CSR, the better your reputation will become. Customers are placing more and more importance on ethical values, and the vast majority are willing to spend a lot more with companies that are aligned with these. For example, 88% of consumers claim they’re more likely to buy from a company that’s involved in initiatives to benefit society.
When it comes to improving your image, it’s important to understand what is important to your customers or clients. Investing in initiatives that your target audience cares about can be hugely beneficial, whilst focusing your efforts on an area they are less concerned with may have very little impact.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that due to the internet, it’s very easy for customers to discover things about your brand – both the good and the bad. If a company behaves irresponsibly, word is likely to spread. Equally, it’s now far easier to get word to your target audience of any CSR initiatives, and their positive impacts. This makes CSR an invaluable source of content for marketing material and social media accounts. Not only does this help to improve brand reputation, but also to greatly increase your customer base.
Corporate social responsibility – the time is now ;
Corporate social responsibility is high on the agenda for companies all over the world. And it’s easy to understand why. When it comes to the advantages of committing to a CSR strategy, the points we’ve covered are simply the tip of the iceberg. It truly benefits all parties – wider society, the environment, charitable causes and your employees. Not to mention your company and your bottom line. The increase in uptake means that no longer is CSR simply a method of getting ahead of the competition. It’s about keeping up with it.
So if you don’t have a CSR strategy in place, then it’s time to draw one up. Your moral obligation may be reward enough in itself, but when you consider the many further advantages, there really is no reason not to. And most importantly – you need to mean it. Be passionate about what you’re working towards and what you’re fighting for. Nothing less than true authenticity will do.
At Headway Recruitment, we take real pride in our partnership with our chosen charity, Rethink Food. The Headway team has become even stronger through our shared commitment to working with this wonderful organisation. We ae completely aligned with Rethink Food’s aims to improve health and well-being amongst children, young people and communities, and to change the way we think about food whilst working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.