Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a buzzword in the corporate world. Every year, businesses of all sizes belonging to every industry spend billions of dollars across the globe on CSR. It represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to build trust, bolster their reputation, and give back to the community.
A lot is at stake for business while they are formulating their CSR strategy. Thus, it is important for them to consider the three factors which serve as pillars of CSR: Clients/Customers, Employees and Local Community.
Clients or Customers
Implementing CSR initiatives can give a competitive advantage to brands that are highly competitive on price, quality, and convenience. Embracing socially responsible policies helps a company polish its image and build brand recognition. Demonstrating that it is compassionate and trustworthy, a company can build strong goodwill which go a long way towards attracting and retaining clients. Studies have repeatedly shown that clients and consumers want to be associated with businesses that are doing good and have a good reputation. By building client loyalty, CSR helps companies achieve increased profitability and long-term financial success.
Just as CSR builds goodwill and loyalty from clients and consumers, it has a similar effect on the internal team as well. Making CSR a priority creates a positive work environment that inspires and unites employees. It supports recruitment, retention and employee satisfaction. Good CSR tends to attract employees who are eager to make a difference in the world, which are mostly millennials. This can help attract top-tier talent who are looking for jobs that have meaning and impact, not just a generous salary.
Social responsibility empowers employees to leverage corporate resources to do good and those collective employee efforts can achieve substantial results. This, in turn, increases workplace morale and boosts productivity. Having a sense of pride in the company they work for creates engaged workers who are happy in their jobs and committed to their employers.
The third pillar of CSR is the community. Businesses have a role to play in making local communities and the planet a cleaner place to live. The Earth is the only life support system we have, and companies should be passionate about protecting it by applying green thinking to every decision. Every business, no matter the size, can have a positive impact on the environment by implementing green practices and procedures designed to address climate change.
CSR is about giving back and helping find solutions to everyday issues – locally, nationally and globally. Ultimately the most successful CSR strategies are those that are baked into a company’s DNA. There are few aspects of a business that thoughtful CSR can’t improve. Incorporating CSR into the business strategy helps to build brand recognition and client/customer loyalty, achieves cost savings through reducing global footprint, attracts positive media attention, helps to find and retain top talent, and improves employee satisfaction and morale. But most importantly, companies that practice CSR can make a real difference in the world.