In today’s tight labour market – where there is currently less than one unemployed person for each job opening – CSR is critical, especially among millennials who by 2025 will make up 75% of the workforce. These employees hope to improve the world through compassion, innovation and sustainability, with their professional lives integrated into these efforts. In fact, 50% of millennials say they would take a pay decrease to find work that aligns with their values, while 90% indicate they want to use their skills for good.
A new survey has found that the majority of middle market companies (nine out of ten) actively support social, community and philanthropic causes, and 88% are focused on diversity and inclusion, reflecting the evolution of corporate social responsibility in the middle market.
RSM US LLP – provider of audit, tax and consulting services to the middle market in the USA – recently announced, in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, results from its RSM US Middle Market Business Index (MMBI) Social Responsibility, Diversity & Inclusion special report. However, despite the importance of CSR for middle market business leaders, the survey shows the way they formally address these causes varies reports PR Newswire. The survey data that informs the index reading was gathered between July 16 and August 3, 2018.
In fact, only a little over a third (38%) of organizations indicated they had a formal social responsibility plan in place, and just over half (55%) have a highly or somewhat formalized diversity and inclusion plan. While larger middle market businesses tended to have more formal programs, smaller middle market businesses – while no less engaged with the causes they support – have fewer processes and documentation around their related initiatives (50% versus 26%).
“Corporate social responsibility strategies have evolved as a vital way for businesses to connect with their communities, demonstrate commitment to core values and deliver on brand promises,” said Sara Webber Laczo, principal and corporate communications leader with RSM US LLP. “At the same time, today’s consumers and employees are demanding more transparency from the companies they engage with, compelling more businesses to ‘walk the talk’ of CSR.”
Said Tracey Walker, culture, diversity and inclusion co-leader with RSM US LLP: “New employees are increasingly drawn to companies dedicated to relevant issues, and current employees feel a sense of belonging because their values align with their organizations’. They feel respected, see themselves in the diverse co-workers they work with, and see a future with that company.”
While CSR’s impact can address a variety of factors for middle market businesses, some believe the strategy can also deliver significant business dividends. Many Fortune 500 businesses have incorporated formal environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures to demonstrate to current and would-be investors and other key constituents a commitment to ethical practices and sustainability.