Businesses today are putting more emphasis on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives for good reason: customers are demanding businesses do better. And doing better, many studies have shown, can also be good for business.
Although CSR is rarely a novel idea for firms, the pressure on them continues to increase from consumers and employees. As a result, businesses are developing more robust CSR programs and communications strategies, often with the help of a CSR agency.
The result benefits not just the greater good, but also businesses themselves in a number of ways.
The Correlation Between CSR and Business Success
Simply put, “corporate social responsibility” refers to a company’s acknowledgement that their actions have a real and measurable impact on people, the planet, and communities. Not only that, but they then accept responsibility for their actions. While some businesses employ social responsibility simply as a method to give back to communities through, say, charitable donations, companies that integrate CSR goals into the fabric of their businesses can also net long-term profits and business viability.
How? Let’s discuss.
CSR Helps Attract the Right Talent
Today, companies are facing intense competition for talent. Being more involved and socially conscious is now essential for firms in order to attract the best people because today’s workforce expects businesses to hold themselves accountable for emerging social, environmental, and health issues impacting the world we live in.
Pay and perks will always be important factors in attracting talent, but it is also crucial to focus on objectives like community betterment, bridging economic disparities, and lowering the company’s carbon footprint. Integrating corporate social responsibility strategies into business goals across an organization creates opportunities for businesses to tell a positive story about their ethos, which is a powerful talent-attraction tool.
CSR initiatives can also boost employee engagement. When companies hire people who are aligned with CSR values, they can create a positive workplace environment. Combined employee efforts can produce significant outcomes, boosting workplace morale and productivity, and creating a virtuous cycle.
Investors are attracted to Companies with a Strong CSR Portfolio
Businesses and their executives have a duty to create value for shareholders. Many investors today seek out investments that yield socially responsible outcomes. Many individuals are allocating more of their investment portfolio to companies that match such criteria. According to the Global Sustainable Investing Alliance, the market share of sustainable investing assets stood at $30.7 trillion globally, recording a 34% growth in two years.
Gaining Customer Loyalty and Interaction
CSR also is increasingly important for attracting new clients. According to one communications company, 87% of consumers stated they would purchase a company’s goods if they supported a cause that was important to them.
As more businesses make the effort to include CSR in their business strategies, they are finding that social responsibility programs also can lead to more loyal and devoted customers.
CSR for Business Success and Growth Today
Businesses can also leverage CSR initiatives to build a positive reputation and gain a competitive edge. CSR initiatives can directly boost brand awareness, sales, and customer loyalty, and help improve financial outcomes over the long term. Businesses gain from an improved capacity to recruit and retain personnel for all-round organizational growth. CSR can translate into greater capital access for businesses across industries.
So, how do businesses go about being more socially responsible?
Each effort, no matter how modest, can influence a community in a big way when done right. Even if small businesses and startups may not have the capacity to practice CSR on a scale as large as some of the biggest conglomerates, giving money or resources to charities can have a significant positive impact. Businesses can get started by planning modest fundraising events, promoting volunteerism, defining a social mission and specific goals, putting staff education programs into place, or collaborating with other companies who share the same philosophy.
Companies may both use social responsibility as a platform to positively influence local and international societies. Businesses may find it easier to access finance since investors are more likely to support reputable, socially responsible businesses. CSR initiatives can also earn you favorable press coverage that could lead to uncovering new business prospects, products, and services.