Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)—sometimes known as “corporate consciousness” or “responsible business”—is a commitment made by a business or organization to put focused, measured efforts towards social good. The expectation of profitable businesses is no longer simply contributing to the economy and providing jobs—companies are now seen as active members of society, with the opportunity to help the communities they touch. Some countries, like Norway, Sweden, France, and Australia, have even made reporting on CSR initiatives a mandatory part of being a for-profit business.
As a leader within an organization, you can shape the way your company makes an impact, while at the same time, boosting your reputation as a conscious, considerate company. From recruiting and retaining staff, to gaining positive press, there are countless benefits to adopting a CSR model. We’ve outlined four (of the many) reasons why your company should have a CSR program.
Today’s top talent is looking for more than a competitive salary—candidates want to know how your company is making a positive impact in both the business world and society at large. From sustainable manufacturing practices to ethical sourcing to one-for-one models, many companies you’ll be competing with to recruit standout leaders have well-established, well-documented CSR models. Global companies like Unilever, Starbucks, and Salesforce have publicly-recognized CSR programs that have set the bar for what employees expect from employers.
When your CSR model is aligned with your company’s values, it tells a cohesive story about why you do what you do, and what makes your culture unique. If your company was founded by three female entrepreneurs, then supporting an existing organization, event, or group that promotes female leadership will feel like a natural extension of your brand. Having a well-defined company culture is more than just stating what it is, it’s putting those thoughts into action. A CSR program that aligns with your company culture is a great way to live out your values.
Human beings crave purpose and connection. When we are given the opportunity to help other people, and when we feel the work we do is creating a meaningful outcome, we are more fulfilled and motivated. When you do adopt a CSR program, enroll your employees from day one. Give them a chance to participate—notify them of volunteer opportunities, send them quarterly updates on the impact of your CSR program, and use tools like SurveyMonkey to seek feedback and input.
Your CSR program also has the opportunity to connect your business with new networks of potential clients, customers, and employees. By aligning yourself with a non-profit organization, event, or cause, you are gaining cross-promotion and more eyes on your business. Well-established and well-communicated programs also often gain the attention of media—and PR coverage means more traffic to your website and more brand recognition.
If you don’t yet have a CSR model, or you’re considering updating yours, think about including WorkWithUs as part of your program. The WorkWithUs Foundation helps rebuild lives by providing sustainable employment and purposeful activity for marginalized populations. Learn more about our diversity hiring solution here.