Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to activities undertaken by companies for the benefit of the environment or communities around them. This could be anything from free medical clinics, sports sponsorship, donations to orphanages, to support for education foundations and community cleaning programs. Due to the immense benefits of corporate social responsibility, most companies now have a CSR policy as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.
See Also: 4 Ways Volunteering Can Advance Your Career Development
Here are some of the benefits your company or business could enjoy from CSR:
1. Enhanced customer loyalty and sales
Companies which are viewed as socially responsible usually enjoy a good reputation with the public. As a result, they are more likely to experience improved customer loyalty, as well as sales. Nowadays, customers don’t just make buying decisions on the basis of appearance, quality, price or convenience. They might buy your products or services simply because your company supports wildlife conservation or sponsors your favorite team.
2. Easier access to capital
Besides customers, investors are also likely to be attracted to a company that supports worthwhile causes. To enhance your chances of accessing capital, find an environmental, social or ethical cause that you can sponsor.
3. Ease of attracting and retaining employees
Studies have shown that employees of companies involved heavily in CSR enjoy a high level of job satisfaction. The satisfaction of making a difference in the community at times even exceeds that which comes from making more money. Therefore, having a solid CSR policy will make recruitment of employees much easier. In addition, it is likely to result in higher retention rates, thus lowering the costs associated with a high turnover.
4. Less regulatory oversight
Companies that are involved in many CSR activities are usually not targets of intense scrutiny from local and national government entities. In addition, they are not subjected to excess paperwork and inspections. As a result, they are likely to receive preferential treatment when applying for different kinds of permits and licenses.
Here are some ideas for making the most out of your CSR activities:
- Involve others – Once in a while, consider inviting other people to join and support the cause you are involved in. You can use email newsletters, blog posts and social media to make your appeal and gather support. Involving people directly will boost the reputation of your company even further.
- Partner with other organizations – Instead of building a CSR program from scratch, you could consider joining hands with other organizations that are aligned with your company’s mission. This is likely to generate more impact, as well as goodwill.
- Combine CSR with corporate training – Incorporating CSR into your training activities is a great way of instilling a strong corporate culture in your employees. With continual involvement, employees get to internalize the values of the company.
- Make it sustainable – Many CSR programs have come under criticism due to the view that they are just one-off events. Therefore, it would be advisable to only get involved in activities which are self-sustainable over a long time.
Do you know of any other benefits of a corporate social responsibility strategy? Share with us in the comments section below.