Corporate social responsibility has grown to be a major focus of many employees, customers and business leaders. It seems to be a simple concept at the outset – businesses implement socially responsible initiatives such as recycling or volunteer days that benefit their community. Yet effectively prioritizing CSR requires more than adding a few green bins or partnering with a nonprofit. To add CSR to your business practices, your company will have to readjust its culture.
How Companies Focus on CSR
Researchers from the University of Cadiz in Spain studied data collected between 1976 and 2014 from small- and medium-sized businesses. They found an increasing number of SMEs use CSR – in fact, many underreport how heavy a role the concept plays in their business strategy. Transparency was a common priority among these organizations. Leaders found offering visibility into their business practices improved their relationships with stakeholders and, as a result, minimized risk. It also showed customers – both existing and potential – their companies were responsible entities. This made customers feel good about doing business with them.
Companies that placed high value on CSR also held regular training programs for employees and took their motivations into account when making business decisions. Not only did this improve workers’ skills, esteem and job quality, but employees also become more invested in the success of the business.
Entrepreneur listed some helpful tips for conveying your business’s commitment to CSR. The first and simplest is to broadcast your company’s efforts on its website. Get testimonials from employees detailing how your business’s initiatives have improved their lives, or show video of volunteer work in progress.
Incorporating CSR into your company culture is a little more difficult but arguably has more significant benefits. Solidify your company’s aspirations by defining a clear purpose. Use objectives and key results to decide what you want to accomplish with your focus on CSR, whether that’s increased employee engagement, a better standing within the community or other goal. OKRs clearly state what your business aspires to and how it will accomplish this task.
What’s more, using goal-setting software visible at every employee level gets them more engaged with the business. This reflects on the concept of transparency the Spanish researchers found integral to many businesses prioritizing CSR. Goal-setting software allows each member of your staff to grasp their company’s purpose and see how their daily assignments help your business achieve its goals.