Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important in defining the role of companies in society today. At heart, CSR can be practised in countless ways and can take many forms, from employee volunteering, product donations, implementing eco-friendly practices, financial support, and other efforts by which companies can benefit the society.
These efforts, whether large or small, say a lot about your organisation. CSR shows how your company cares about its impact on the world. It can also define how your organisation respects your people, your customers, your community, and the environment. Most importantly, it allows your audience to find alignment with your company’s values and ethos.
While having a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy for your company is not mandatory, study shows that 87% of consumers prefer to buy a product or service from a company which advocates for social matters. Meanwhile, 76% of those surveyed said they would decline to do business with a company if it held views and supported issues that conflicted with their beliefs.
This goes to show the importance of embracing CSR as a part of your company’s goal. Not only CSR provides opportunities for companies to give back to society; it has also been proven to bring significant benefits to your business.
Below are five reasons why every company should embrace corporate social responsibility:
1. Boost customer experience
Well-executed CSR activities can bolster your company’s brand image while making positive impacts on the world around you. Consumer conscience is growing; millennials, for instance, have a strong preference towards brands with pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods, and ethical business standards.
Building a good brand reputation with your CSR essentially means boosting your customer experience. They feel good using and supporting brands that are actively invested in the betterment of the society, and they are more likely to be loyal to your brand when your values are aligned with theirs.
2. Reach a wider audience
In today’s digital era, companies that focus on driving positive social and environmental changes are gaining exposure for their efforts. People love to share videos and images they feel deeply passionate about; incorporating your CSR efforts into your marketing strategy can mean opportunities to reach a wider audience.
The bigger your impacts are, the greater chance your business might have in generating positive publicity. In addition to press and social media coverage, many credible institutions and government organisations acknowledged impactful CSR efforts and are drawing attention to them through annual awards and recognitions.
3. Increase employee satisfaction
Consumers aren’t the only people drawn to an organisation’s sustainable and ethical business practice. Nielsen’s global CSR report shows that 67% of respondents prefer to work for socially-inclined companies. Put simply, employees like to feel connected and proud of the organisations they work for, and when they do, they are more likely to act as brand ambassadors.
CSR also plays a significant role in employee satisfaction and retention rates. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 89% of executives surveyed believe a strong sense of collective purpose drives employee satisfaction. When companies involve their employees in making decisions about CSR causes to support, it has been proven to give employees a greater sense of investment in the organisation.
Companies also benefit from allowing employees to participate in volunteering through CSR activities. A study about the link between participation in CSR programs and employee retention found that employee turnover dropped by 57% in the employee group most deeply connected to their companies’ giving and volunteering efforts.
4. Create strategic partnerships
CSR opens doors for companies to link with organisations that might previously have been left out of the corporate conversations, such as NGOs, government institutions, charities or volunteer organisations.
Not only do these newly formed partnerships bring more depth and dimensions to your business decision-making capabilities, but it also gives the opportunity to develop valuable relationships, which could include potential clients and future collaborators.
5. Contribute towards a more sustainable future
Last but not least, CSR is definitely a win-win because it brings all the benefits mentioned above for your company, but most importantly, it allows your business to play an integral role in creating a sustainable future.
CSR is also known for driving innovation, not only for the betterment of society but also for the company’s business sustainability. With CSR, companies often allocate resources to do research and development that will end up bringing positive impacts for the world. For example, through its CSR program, Unilever was able to innovate new products such as hair conditioner that allows its user to consume less water when using it. By incorporating environmental and social considerations into your core business processes, CSR allows your company to help reach the world’s climate goals
To sum up, implementing CSR initiatives and programs into your businesses should be one of the top priorities for your company’s core strategy. Talk to us if you need help in making that happen!