How You Can Improve Your Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR aka corporate social responsibility is commonly overlooked. The practice, that moves actions beyond compliance and towards a more ethical approach to business, has been widely debated. Whether it improves profit or not, CSR is arguably a deontological activity of businesses nowadays. But with Fortune 500 companies spending more than $15 billion social responsibility, how can your company cut through the noise and make a worthwhile stamp on the world?
Since the Volkswagen scandal, there has been a lot of talk around CSR . It has made people cynical to the practice. Even after Volkswagen blatant manipulation, it is ranked as the 11th best company in the world for its corporate social responsibility work. Moving forward, companies need to be transparent; it is the basis of all CSR practice.
Chances are, if you are transparent with your employees and external stakeholders you won’t need fancy strategies. Do not hide your failures because transparency will increase trust.
You don’t have to spend thousands to do good. Start small in your local community. Purchase from local suppliers, sponsor local events, donate to local charities. It can be as little as purchasing organic milk from a local supplier rather than from Tesco. However you choose to support your local community, don’t be afraid to shout about it!
Get Employees Involved
To achieve a fully realised strategy, you will have to get your employees on board. Start by encouraging them to draw stronger lines between work/life. Encouraging a healthy work/life balance is a great way to kick-start your CSR policy.
Beyond that, encourage and perhaps incentives them to do something for charity. It may be they are already doing something that they could form into a charity event. Here at ISL, we have done fun runs and tough mudders for charity. It is a great team builder too!
Talk it Up!
Do not forget to tell everyone about your CSR success. That is not to say gloat about them, but certainly use your policies as a part of your marketing strategy. Communicating your successes will engage your customers, illustrate competitive advantage, and motivate your employees; it is a win win!
If you are going to use your success for marketing, try to tell your audience a story. It will feel less like bragging and make the story feel more personal.
Measure You Success
Finally, make sure you measure your policies. It is all good and well improving your CSR but it is important to understand the impact of your changes. Measure even your smaller successes. Cut down on paper waste? Measure the financial and environmental impact. Seeing the change written down will motivate you to create bigger policies.
Ultimately, corporate social responsibility is not a simple checklist. You strategy will take time and it is likely you will think, how can using different coffee do any good?! But reminder yourself that even the small changes will have a big impact on the world around you and your wallet.