Every business owner, manager, and decision-maker must determine the level of impact his/her company will have on his/her local community. Whether or not you are aware of it, your business has a corporate social responsibility (CSR).
When companies choose to incorporate ethics into their business model, they recognise the CSR of their company. These ethical methods involve the consideration of human rights and the social, economic, and environmental impact their company has on the world around them.
CSR goes far beyond slashing prices and handing out promotional sales to appease the community. It is of much higher concern. How your company chooses to run will affect those around them, inside and outside. You must ensure final decisions take CSR into account, every single time.
CSR also involves how your business interacts with the people and other companies within your community and its surrounding areas. Your business needs to take part in its community through a range of mindful activities, causes, events, and traditions.
Why is CSR important to your company and its community?
The CSR of your company influences how those living in your city or town perceive your business, ultimately, impacting your reputation. It is vital that you treat your entire community as ‘the customer’ and the CSR as the company’s ‘character’. As a top-level leader, your goal is to ensure the impact your business has on both, and to leave an excellent and positive impression.
For such actions to take place, there must be a balance of your company’s social awareness and its ability to still produce the products it makes ethically.
Once the CSR is recognised by your company, and balance forms, it can begin providing benefits to its community and receiving them from it as well.
Here are ten significant reasons why your company should become ‘one’ with its community.
CSR has a substantial impact on society and also provides better synergy returns to their business.
10 community benefits
The benefits to the community depend on your company’s CSR activities and involvement, but here are a few ways you can make a change that can benefit your community as a whole.
- Improve education programmes
- Feed the homeless
- Keep the environment clean
- Contribute to ecology
- Lessen your carbon footprint
- Help with the arts programme
- Donate to local sports teams
- Give grants to the infrastructure of roads, bridges, and so on
- Provide college/university scholarships
- Volunteer to hold food drives
10 company benefits
- Attract positive publicity
- Strengthen connections with people and organisations
- Build trust with your customers
- Create meaningful relationships
- Improve customer retention
- Generate more sales
- Form organic company advocates
- Develop a positive brand image and reputation
- Show the community you care
- Reveal the ‘human side’ of your business.
About 55 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies.
These benefits are only some of what to expect, as it can also help in attracting the right hires and in gaining capital. But none of these will happen if your business does not take action to get involved.
As a leader at your company, instead of just aligning perfomance of an employee with their compensation, it is essential that you set an example and encourage your employees to become interested in working for you greater cause, your mission, and it starts with being part of a community.
Almost 60% of employees who are proud of their company’s CSR programme are engaged in their jobs.
Engaged employees not only feel happier with the work they do, but feel they are contributing to something greater. This not only helps with employee retention but also with customer service.
Of course, how you treat your employees and community are also significant factors customers use when it comes to decisions.
“Ethics is the new competitive environment”: Peter Robinson, CEO Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Because there is a long list of reasons why community involvement is essential, many companies already acknowledge their CSR and have incorporated it into their business. But there are others who are still unsure of how or where to begin.
With the importance of human connections, empathy, and emotions increasingly becoming intertwined in business, it is vital that your company starts recognising its CSR.
Here are ten ways to become involved in your community and improve your company’s CSR.
- Get involved in social causes
- Train employees on social responsibility, communication, emotional intelligence, and ethics or code of conduct
- Incorporate company inclusion — diversity and equality
- Volunteer employee time
- Donate money to non-profit organisations
- Implement environmentally-friendly policies in the workplace.
- Offer matching gift programmes
- Create impactful social activities with entire company involvement: food drives, help homeless shelters, plant trees, clean up littered streets, recycle programme, and so on
- Join or formulate fundraisers
- Support local charities
Domino’s is an excellent example of how a company can align its goals with community needs. In 2018, the pizza major created a campaign called “Paving For Pizza.
The website reads: “Bad roads shouldn’t happen to good pizza, no matter where you carry out. So we’re paving in all 50 states. See where we’ve been, and see where we’re going next.”
Throughout 2018, Domino’s gave grants to various locations across the US to help fill potholes and repair cracked roads. It used its CSR and paired it with its objectives, which is what every company must do.
Find what is important to their local community and connect it with what the business is looking to accomplish.
“Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success”: William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company.
What your company builds, makes, distributes, or produces will increase in value in the customer’s eye, if they see you looking for ways and use methods to improve their society. It is essential that your company develops a CSR policy and incorporates it into its core beliefs and values.
When your company steps outside of itself and takes into consideration the people and places around them, customers take notice. Your business will attract more like-minded and socially conscious people who relate to your company’s social intentions and actions. People want to associate themselves with those who share similar values and who want to make a positive change to the world.
You can sell and do amazing things at the same time. You merely need to start. Your business and its employees can enhance its relationships with the community by acting responsibly and mindfully. You can make a difference.
Make it your mission to develop your company’s CSR to create a better place to work and a greater community to live in together.
What ways are you and your company involved in improving your CSR and local community?