Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Definition, Benefits, Examples, and Tips
In this day and age, corporate social responsibility has become increasingly important to companies. More and more businesses are integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their business strategy. If you wonder why you need to pour your money and effort into CSR, keep reading, and you will find the answer!
Table of contents
- What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Benefits of corporate social responsibility to a business
- Examples of corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Four tips to create a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program successfully
- Final words
What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)
There are many definitions of CSR. Fundamentally, Corporate Social Responsibility is a code of conduct and action beyond what is required by laws, regulations, and trade rules. It is the continuing commitment of business to behave ethically and contribute to community welfare as well as environmental protection.
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Benefits of corporate social responsibility to a business
Embracing a corporate social responsibility encourages businesses to act ethically and to consider the social and environmental impacts of their business operations. In doing so, the company delivers benefits for the community. Not only have positive impacts on the society and environment, but CSR also brings fantastic benefits for the company!
Improving the company’s brand
Establishing corporate social responsibility is an excellent way for the company to build its brand and reputation. By taking various actions in the CSR program, the company creates a strong and positive image in the minds of the consumers and the general public. The business can make a name for itself not only being financially profitable but socially conscious as well. When the company does good deeds, the media pay more attention to it, and the press becomes instrumental in getting more audience to know about the good works of the company. For all intents and purpose, getting good impress through doing good deeds is a great way to advertise the company. Publishing your credentials corporate social responsibility, also makes the company distinctive from its competitors.
In today’s socially conscious environment, customers often spend their money with businesses that support and engage in activities to improve society. In other words, CSR has a significant influent to the consumer buying decisions. Loyalty and trust of customers are decisive factors in creating a great company branding. Indeed, customers tend to be loyal to the brand that sticks to them for all the right and positive reasons. For instance, by providing free education programs for sick children, the company will appeal to customers who care about young people as well as positive social changes. The better the company image in the mind of customers is, the more customers are willing to make more sale with the company.
Making employees happier
Promoting and providing employees with meaningful social activities is a great way to attract talent, engage, develop, and retain employees. Interestingly, the reason why today’s employees are staying at a job is not just a high salary but also job satisfaction. The labors expect that their jobs will contribute to the company’s development as well as social welfare. When the company is socially responsible, employees also feel better about the corporations and themselves. They are very loyal toward their company, proud to work there, satisfied with the employer, and likely to recommend their companies to their friends. By donating and supporting various charitable programs, the employees had a higher level of commitment to the company, and costly employee turnover rate is minimized.
Examples of corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Now, you might be conscious of the amazing benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for your business. So, how can a company build up an excellent CSR program? Here I will show you four different categories of CSR.
Ethical labor practices
One of the effective ways to demonstrate the social responsibility of a company is treating employees fairly and ethically. The company needs to ensure that there are no discriminations among the employees, and each of them will be received equal pay for equal work. Besides, the business owners should care about the well being of its employees by offering high compensations and perks such as free meals, healthcare packages, etc. Creating a workplace health and safety program will make employees can feel more satisfied with their works and have deep connections with the company. Your employees turn out to be one of your best ambassadors.
Another way to practice corporate social responsibility is to donate money, products, or services to charities and community programs. These donations are given to the unprivileged or needy people in forms of disaster relief, clean water, and education programs, etc. Firms can corporate with social organizations and nonprofit organizations to help the local community and society at large.
The environment is the primary focus of corporate social responsibility. The raising ecological issues require the company to limit pollution and cut down greenhouse gases. Regardless of size, the business needs to take the necessary steps to save our planet, such as using advanced and environmental-friendly technology. For instance, a company can use renewable energy and improve its waste management to demonstrate how the company cares about the environment.
By taking volunteering activities, companies can express a company’s sincerity with specific issues and commitment to a particular organization. The company can encourage employees to participate in volunteering activities, such as join a charity walk or run, give gifts to kids, etc. Volunteer trips may become team-building exercises to strengthen company culture and core value. Volunteers will put your company in a positive light.
Four tips to create a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program successfully
Setting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is not an easy one, especially it has a wide range of influence on business performances.
CRM requires a significant amount of resources, including money, time, and staff. Hence, it is expected that this investment will bring the satisfy payback for the company. Bellows are three tips for you to put social your CSR program to full use and maximize its benefit for your business!
Tip #1: Communicate enough about your CSR program
When you conduct your corporate social responsibility program, you should tell the world about what is going on in it to keep your CSR program from being misrepresented. Annual CSR reports, press releases and other communication methods are useful tools for you to shout out loud about the CSR program of your company.
While it is essential to communicate CSR plans, that does not mean that you have to distribute a press release for every minor step you take to achieve your CSR strategic goal.
There is a fine line between humbly speaking about what you do for others and rubbing your benevolence too much. The tip is to communicate enough to help your customers and stakeholders easily get notice and follow your story, instead of overdoing the communication. Keep in mind that you need to improve your customer’s perception of your brand, not to turn them away.
Tip #2: Build a long-term CSR program
Likely, the CRS strategy should never neglect the primary purpose of the company of increasing the business bottom line. However, if you run a corporate responsibility program as a quick marketing scheme for profitable purposes only, the CRM program can backfire on your business.
The company that adopts socially responsible business practice overtime often makes positive impressions on the employees, consumers, and other shareholders. Therefore, it is advised for the business to embrace long-term CRM strategy rather than employing a one-time act.
Tip #3: Donate your money smartly
While pursuing the CSR strategy, businesses should participate in charitable efforts that are related to their core business focus and ethical standard instead of blinding pouring money into a completely unrelated organization. The right combination of social activities with the main strategic objective of the firm is the decisive factor in the success of a CSR program. Do not randomly pick a specific social responsibility program. It has to be the right program which aligned with your organizational and goals.
For example, an automobile manufacturing company may choose an environmental protection program focusing on clean air. A pharmaceutical company may pick health care programs for vulnerable people.
Tip #4: Get everyone involved
Although Corporate Social Responsibility may be an initiative of the management, implementation is a collective effort. Engaging all the employees of the organization in the process will raise their morale and add enthusiasm as they work. The happier the employees are, the more productive they are. When the company motivates and encourages the employees enough, they will likely to participate in the social responsibility work. It may be surprising for you to get many brilliant ideas from your employees to improve your company social responsibility.
It is also a good idea to motivate customers to participate in your social responsibility activities actively. For instance, by buying a product from the company, the customers donate a specific amount to a cause. As a result, the company quickly turns out its customers into partners.
Undertaking the CRS program is truly win for everyone involved. The impact of your actions does not limit to the environment and society, but also make a real difference in the world.
Incorporating CSR in the business strategy is the crucial solution to boost the long-term growth and profits of the business. In a globalized world, there is no place for selfish and greed. We have to work mutually and take care of other’s needs, and in doing so, we will eventually benefit ourselves.