Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is fast becoming a focal point of concern within the corporate world. While recognized for the benefits it offers an organization, it is also an invaluable system of giving back to the community or of paying it forward. Not limited merely to giving away charity, companies are now increasingly investing time and money in capacitating their employees towards becoming responsible corporate citizens though an institutionalized effort.
The benefits of these efforts are multifold:
• Providing employees an opportunity for growth: It assists in making way for professional improvement in terms of learning on business and work ethics.
• Improving the organization’s brand recognition: Developing a solid CSR image adds positively to the reputation of a business and cultivates an aura of respectability.
• Inculcating a sense of civic responsibility: Encouraging employees to think of ‘the other’ fosters the desire to give back to the community.
• Improving work standards and workplace safety: Developing and maintaining best practices encourages setting benchmarks for improved performance and responsible behaviour in the workplace.
• Engendering employee satisfaction: Employees who are able to depend on their organization for looking after their needs and creating a conducive work environment for them, will have better motivation to excel; this also fosters a deeper sense of loyalty to the organization, thereby improving employee retention.
• Creating a positive environmental impact: Environmental responsibility is a core area of CSR work, with companies working hard to ensure minimal environmental damage as a result of their activities. It also has the impact of reducing costs by focusing on recycling and like practices.
• Strengthening client relationships and attracting new clientele: Institutions and individuals alike increasingly prefer to work with organizations that have strong business ethics and are responsible in terms of business practice, environmental impact, community engagement, etc. As a corollary, this would have the added impact of increasing business revenue.
• Encouraging better practices on part of other organizations: Fostering a sense of healthy competition to do more for social responsibility creates space to becoming an industry leader by setting a positive example for other organizations.
What is positive is that large and small business alike are looking inward to find areas for improvement and discovering creative solutions for the same. Raising awareness of the need and advantages of CSR can go a long way towards accelerating this process. This can be done by conducting training workshops, seminars to encourage debate and discourse, as well as acknowledging and encouraging existing efforts.
CSR should be seen not simply as an effort on part of entities with greater resources in time, personnel and finances, but should eventually be viewed as a necessity that all must contribute towards.
Source: Business Recorder