Corporate social responsibility is incredibly important. Organizations are finding new ways to incorporate social responsibility into their company culture.
What is corporate social responsibility?
Engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) means that an organization is driving the enhancement of society or the environment instead of contributing negatively. CSR aims to ensure businesses conduct themselves in a way that is ethical.
CSR is a broad concept that can take many forms: philanthropy, volunteer efforts, donations, etc.
“Corporate responsibility is simply a way for companies to take responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of their business operations,” said Jen Boynton, vice president of member engagement at 3BL Media.
Benefits to Organizations
A focus on social responsibility can lead to many benefits for organizations and their employees.
- Brand differentiation. Organizations like Toms and Bombas utilize social responsibility as a marketing tool. When customers purchase a product, these organizations also donate one to groups in need. Not only is it responsible, it’s effective: 55% of customers are willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies.
- Employees are happier and more committed. Feeling positively about their company’s corporate social responsibility increases employees’ intention to stay with an employer and their overall commitment to the organization. Additionally, CSR drives increased employee engagement and performance. Employees who perceive higher levels of corporate citizenship report increased engagement and creative involvement. With that, personal and professional growth is encouraged for employees. Social responsibility efforts can provide ways for employees to grow personally and professionally.
- Recruiting tool. Millennials look to associate with organizations with a high-impact. Making commitments to social responsibility can help attract top talent. 75% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 55% U.S. average)
- Cost savings. A focus on energy and waste reduction can lead to cost savings for organizations when they’re using less energy or packaging to produce their products.
- Long-term sustainability. A focus on corporate social responsibility is a great way to ensure an organization’s future is sustainable.
Go in with a long-term commitment. Having a positive impact on society and the environment won’t happen overnight. Plan your efforts with a future mindset.
Engage the entire workforce. As highlighted above, corporate social responsibility efforts can be incredibly beneficial to your employees. Engage them and lead by example- take action instead of just talking about it.
Corporate social responsibility can benefit organizations and their employees in a multitude of ways, many driving increased profitability and efficiency. As millenials grow to make up majority of the workforce, an investment in CSR can prove to be not only beneficial, but necessary.