Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the name given to the focus businesses place on philanthropic, activist, or charitable goals, by engaging in or supporting sustainable practices. This could involve work in the local community alongside efforts to tackle global challenges such as climate change, poverty, and discrimination.
In short, it’s about using business resources for the benefit of society. Yet while not a directly profit-driven strategy, CSR can have many benefits for a company’s bottom line. It’s a useful tool for bolstering brand image and awareness, attracting and retaining like-minded customers, and empowering employees.
And during these times of great societal and economic uncertainty, its importance is likely to become even greater. Many businesses have already demonstrated their commitment to supporting the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
Learn some of the key advantages of a carefully considered CSR strategy below.
It’s been found in various studies that modern consumers expect businesses to operate responsibly. By displaying a desire to have a positive impact, beyond simply selling products or gaining a competitive advantage, a business can enhance its public image. And if CSR efforts go far enough to make the news, they can also improve brand awareness.
Conversely, getting CSR wrong can have a damaging effect on the way a brand is perceived. Its implementation may therefore benefit from the expertise of an outside firm such as RSM – especially if operating internationally.
Attracting and retaining customers is ultimately essential to a company’s long-term success. And by embracing sustainable or ethical policies, a business may be able to stand out in its industry for these values alone.
New customers can be drawn in by CSR efforts, while existing customers may grow more loyal. Many consumers will also be prepared to pay more for a product or service if they know that part of the profits will go towards a cause they hold dearly.
Looking internally, a clearly defined CSR strategy can help a business attract new talent, motivate existing employees, and assist in keeping them around for longer. People prefer to work for companies they’re proud of and whose actions they agree with.
Employees will be more likely to become advocates if they can see the positive impact a business is having or have felt it themselves. By encouraging staff to get involved in activities such as volunteering, meanwhile, a business can foster personal growth.
Is your company’s CSR strategy up to scratch?