Corporate Social Responsibility – Be the “Employer of Choice”
What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility aims to ensure that companies conduct their business in a way that is ethical. This means taking account of their social, economic and environmental impact, and consideration of human rights (University of Edinburgh, 2017).
CSR is by no means a “quick win” opportunity to make profit however, it can be a long-term strategy to improve brand awareness and the reputation of your organisation. Certain organisations use CSR as a way to build trust and improve relationships with existing/potential customers. Others see CSR as a way to optimise your internal culture or to attract talent.
Leadership teams are the key drivers behind CSR, some organisations such as Google are great advocates. However, you then look at organisations such as Uber who have very poor CSR however, due to the sheer demand of their services, they still make incredible profits. Imagine if Uber designed and implemented a project that increased the number of women drivers… this would remove some of the negative stigma’s, improve the awareness of Uber’s brand (as it would be a key talking point) and finally, it could even potentially take some women out of unemployment! In short CSR projects can bring mutual benefits to organisations and the wider environment.
Examples of CSR?
- Community involvement programmes
- Knowledge transfer/educational programme opportunities
- Improving facilities within areas
- Charity work
- Employee Wellbeing
Examples of organisations who are doing CSR well?
Google – I referred to Google earlier in the blog, they’ve invested heavily into driving their CSR strategy. For example, they have a scheme called Google Green which is focused around using resources more effectively and supporting renewable power. This scheme is great as it has improved the way in which Google are viewed by the public, whilst also lowering their internal costs via recycling, turning lights off etc (Moreno, 2015).
BMW – Focusing your CSR strategy around young dependants can bring great benefits; both to the brand of your organisation however, also the local community. BMW have set themselves a target to help over 1 million people by 2020 via their “Schools Environment Education Development Project”. The reality is that this programme isn’t going to lead to 100 twelve-year olds ordering a brand new 1 series. However, they will begin talking about the BMW brand to their parents, this may lead to them having an interest in the brand. Also, it will bring media coverage again promoting the organisation.
What are the potential benefits of CSR?
- Better brand recognition
- Positive brand recognition
- Higher customer trust
- Increased employee engagement
- Increased customer retention
- Increased sales
- Operational cost savings
- Greater ability to attract and retain staff
Réncái and CSR?
We’ve been supporting a number of organisations around their EVP (employer/employee value proposition). From my own personal point of view EVP and CSR are intrinsically linked. This is because if you’re promoting your CSR strategy you will be: talking about issues that are important to people, being seen as doing more than the norm, as well as giving back to the community – I can guarantee that for a lot of people that would attract them to work for/continue working for an organisation.
When speaking to a HR Director the other week he made a point about being an “Employer of choice”. Have a little think to yourself… imagine if your organisation began to invest into a CSR strategy, what initiatives would you suggest? What would the benefits be for your organisation?
CSR doesn’t have to be a huge costly programme however, at the same time if you do it half heartedly then you will not see the rewards. Some organisations are that driven towards profit, technology and processes they forget about the people! If you want to maximise profit but also be an “Employer of choice” – then please invest into your CSR strategy, as well as your EVP.
To learn more about the work that we have done within this space then please give me a call on 07341 662232 or [email protected]
Client Relationship and Development Consultant