The term ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) refers to organisational initiatives which benefit society. These enterprises fall into three categories, which are often called the triple bottom line: social, environment as well as economic.
The growth of social media and PR has also influenced the significance of corporate social responsibility. Now, organisations with unethical business practices are being exposed harshly on social media. This can harm their reputation damaged greatly in a matter of a few hours.
Social media can also work as a tool in order to highlight companies implementing CSR or those that have ethical business practices. This can lead to increased sales, a larger audience reach as well as free positive publicity.
A necessary distinction
It is vital to distinguish between CSR (which can be a strategic business management concept) and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy.
- Businesses which practise CSR have happier as well as more satisfied employees. This is because employees feel that working for a socially conscious employer provides them with a sense of purpose.
- In addition, businesses practising corporate social responsibility tend to invest more in their employees. They also work harder in order to create a workplace which employees enjoy returning to each day.
Promoting the commitment to CSR among SMEs requires approaches which fit the respective needs as well as capacities of these businesses. In addition, these approaches do not adversely affect their economic viability.
Good practice guidelines when developing a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy
There are a number of guidelines that you should be following when developing a CSR strategy. These are listed below.
Your corporate social responsibility strategy must be authentic. In addition, it must ring true for your organisation. The best way to make sure that this is the case is to match the strategy closely to your company’s mission, vision as well as values. Employees, customers in addition to others will know when it’s inauthentic. This means that your CSR strategy won’t have the desired effect.
Get a good fit
The goals which you select for your CSR strategy must fit in with your company as well as its products and services. For instance, if your organisation is a boutique which sells women’s clothing, then actively supporting breast cancer research is a good fit for you.
Be sure that everyone in your organisation knows exactly what your CSR strategy as well as goals are. In addition, everyone must be able to express them consistently to one another in addition to the general public. Your CSR efforts are increased when everyone in your business has a clear understanding of his or her role. In addition, they must be completely aligned with the programme.
Work from the inside out
Your CSR programme isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if you haven’t engaged with your employees during the process of developing as well as implementing it. Rather than forcing a CSR strategy onto your employees, invite their active participation in creating it and implementing it. You’ll achieve better results. In addition, your employees will be pleased that you thought highly enough about them to involve them in the process.
Tell your story
When your CSR strategy is in place, don’t be afraid to publicise your efforts to be socially responsible along with your successes. Again, many individuals are attracted to organisations which operate in a socially responsible manner. If you don’t publicise your programmes, you’ll lose this powerful benefit. So tell your story — as regularly as you can — to your employees as well as to the general public. Make use of company newsletters and brochures, your website, and online social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
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