Why Corporate Responsibility is More Than Just a Fad
In some businesses, when the words ‘corporate social responsibility’ are mentioned, you’re bound to see at least a few pairs of eyes roll.
The attitude towards CSR is a mixed one, with many businesses choosing to either ignore or even actively avoid engaging in any ethical practices. The purpose of a business is to expand and make a profit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that its actions can’t have a positive effect on society. We’re going to explain what CSR is and why adopting it is good for everyone, including your business.
What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept where companies consider how they can use their position and influence to benefit society as a whole. Whether it’s as basic as reducing the amount of energy and water used in the office, or as ambitious as sponsoring a charity event, more and more companies are finding ways to help make a difference. Corporate Responsibility doesn’t have to be restricted to donating to charities. Companies can also choose to actively contribute to their local community, by investing in its people and infrastructure, which in-turn circles back round to feed into the business. In fact, CSR can bring a lot of benefits to a business, which could explain why it’s become so popular amongst small and enterprise-level companies alike.
How CSR can Benefit Your Business
Attract New Customers
It’s a known fact, that people feel good when they know they’re doing good. Ergo, if your potential customers and business partners see that your company has a clear corporate social responsibility plan, then they’re going to feel better about investing in it. Studies have shown that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more money to purchase a product from an ethically responsible company. Offering an alternative to the many, many companies wrestling over the title of who can provide the most savings, could help your business to stand out and attract customers.
Retain Loyal Customers
Having an CSR plan not only helps bring in new customers, but it also helps in retaining current ones. Those customers who are won over by CSR practices are more likely to want to remain loyal to the brand, because as long as they know that the company is helping charitable causes or their local community, they’ll want to be a part of it. The value of ethical spending rose to £81.3 billion over the last year (an increase of 3.2%), and it will undoubtedly continue to do so. Ensuring that your business continues to develop a positive ethical image, can help in fortifying your ability to obtain revenue in the future. As more and more investors continue to value ethical business practices, not having a CSR plan is going to look more out of place than having one.
Be an Employer of Choice
Investors aren’t the only people drawn to an ethically-minded business. Job candidates are also more likely to want to join your business if it promises the chance for staff to make a positive difference. A lot of people want to feel like they’re part of a movement, so providing this opportunity will make many job roles even more appealing. Additionally, those candidates who are motivated by corporate social responsibility will bring a renewed sense of positivity to the business, with an interest that goes beyond simply fulfilling their basic duties.
Boost Employee Engagement
Providing the opportunity to support CSR projects could not only help in recruiting new employees, but it could also invoke further feelings of engagement within your existing workforce as well. Employees feel more invested in their work when they know they’re contributing to something greater. Charitable advisors, Double the Donation, reported that nearly 60% of employees who were proud of their company’s CSR, were more engaged in their jobs as a result. More engagement means that employees take more pride in their work and are more likely to want to stay loyal to the company.
Find Opportunities to Save Money
Becoming a more sustainable business isn’t only better for the environment, but it’s also better for your company budget. Reducing waste, making your devices more energy efficient, recycling old handsets, etc… All these things can help your business to actively save money, whilst becoming more environmentally friendly in the process.
Corporate social responsibility isn’t limited to huge brands with a public reputation to maintain, it can bring benefits to almost any business. If you’re stuck on where to start with your CSR plan then you find inspiration here on our blog, by reading about the success we’ve found with our charity quiz, Sports Relief fundraising, and more…