As the executive in charge of a business, you have a lot of things to focus on—strategy, sales, the new business pipeline, cash flow, making sure customers are satisfied, employee engagement and morale—and that’s just a short list.
It’s very possible that corporate social responsibility (CSR) doesn’t make it to the top of your priority list all that often. But it should.
Yes, of course, it’s the right thing to do. But it’s also good for business. The proverbial win-win.
CSR is an approach to business designed to contribute to sustainable development by delivering economic, social, and environmental benefits for all stakeholders. There are a lot of ways to go about implementing a CSR program, but it’s often best to pick one specific program to focus on—whether it’s philanthropy, human rights, health and safety, or an environmental impact. Whatever you decide to focus on, the goal is to drive change towards sustainability.
And for your business, there’s upside.
- Companies with CSR programs often improve their public image. Whether it’s positive media exposure, word-of-mouth, or simply a notice on the company website, a CSR initiative helps to shed positive light on your business. Companies with CSR programs are perceived as community-minded and forward-thinking.
- CSR can lead to an improved relationship with customers. A 2017 survey made it clear that customers want to do business with companies they feel are committed to making a positive difference. Eighty-seven percent of people said they would purchase a product from a company that advocated for an issue they care about it. On the other hand, consumers are less likely to buy from firms that ignore social responsibility; 76 percent said they would refuse to buy from a company that supported a cause they disagreed with.
- CSR creates higher levels of employee engagement. Numerous studies have shown that workers today like to feel a higher purpose at work. When they feel their employer isn’t obsessed with the bottom line to the exclusion of “doing good,” they’re more likely to be engaged at work, thereby leading to higher levels of productivity. This improved relationship with employees and demonstrated commitment to CSR is also a good recruiting tool for talent.
- CSR can help reduce costs. If you’re looking to make your business more sustainable, you could end up saving on energy costs. You could also reduce the cost of employee churn by having a more engaged workforce.
- CSR leads to more opportunity. CSR programs can lead to new business partnerships or increased access to capital. Companies and lenders like to do business with companies with upstanding reputations, and CSR can buttress such a reputation.
So as you plot out your strategy for the months and years ahead, consider that corporate social responsibility has proved to be a key way to get where you want to go.
Contact us at 215.441.4600 or Email if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.
You may also like: