November 23, 2021
In today’s business climate, it’s not enough for companies to produce great products at reasonable prices. Customers and employees alike expect companies they do business with to use their resources and influence to bring positive change to the world.
In fact, a 2020 study by Porter Novelli found that 88% of employees believe that it’s no longer acceptable for a company to solely focus on making profits; it must also positively impact society.
This approach is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In the latest episode of the Team Building Saves the World podcast, Stewart Downey, Director of TeamBondingCSR, explains CSR like this:
“The idea is that a company that wants to give back to the community, nonprofits, or charities across the local, national, or global level can do so by adding a CSR effort for their team. It also means that it gives their employees a chance to volunteer and give back too.”
What Is CSR, and Why Is It Important?
Corporate social responsibility is the concept of incorporating philanthropy, ethics, and activism into business practices to benefit both society and the company itself. Adopting a CSR strategy also helps corporations build closer relationships with their employees and customers.
There are four major types of CSR:
Environmental: This facet encompasses a company’s efforts to reduce its impact on the environment such as ending investment in fossil fuels.
Ethical: Ethical considerations involve measures a company takes to ensure that its business practices are fair. Refusing to purchase materials produced by child labor is an example of an ethical CSR response.
Philanthropic: Philanthropy represents a company’s efforts to give back through charitable donations, fundraising events, and more. An example of philanthropic CSR would be organizing a fundraiser for a charity.
Economic: This type of CSR involves financial sacrifices a company makes to ensure things like fair pay and sustainable business practices. Executives who divert a part of their salary into profit-sharing are practicing economic CSR.
Talking about the importance of CSR, Bailey Goldstein, Senior Manager of TeamBondingCSR Programming, says, for brands “your image matters, who you are matters, and what you do matters.”
In other words, businesses can no longer be just about business. They must also take on a certain level of social responsibility because it matters to their customer base, employees, and the community.
10 Advantages and Benefits of CSR
The full benefits of CSR are innumerable, but let’s look at ten of the most widely recognized:
Increased Brand Recognition
Tapping into the zeitgeist with a socially-conscious CSR effort can bring your brand to the attention of people who may have otherwise never heard of it.
People are hungry for positive stories. If you associate your brand with positive social and political change, you can earn the type of media coverage you can’t buy from advertisers.
Boosted Company Reputation
Recognition isn’t worth much if your reputation is tarnished. Lending a helping hand, making sacrifices in the name of fairness, and engaging in sustainable business practices paint your organization as worthy of its growing recognition among consumers.
Bolstered Public Trust
Once your reputation for CSR work is established, you can’t rest on your laurels. Many people intrinsically don’t trust corporations and think they’re “just in it for the money.”
By supporting community initiatives with ongoing funding and producing public proof of your egalitarian organizational principles, you can keep the trust you earned by building yourself as a socially responsible brand.
Improved Customer Loyalty
If you can show that you give back, customers are willing to come back repeatedly. A 2019 study by Statista found that 70% of customers are more loyal to companies that showcase CSR efforts.
Something as simple as hosting a fundraising event for a local food bank can reinforce the public perception that you have the community’s back and encourage the community to have yours.
Accelerated Capital Growth
If you’re boosting your brand, enhancing your reputation, gaining public trust, and inspiring customer loyalty, this may positively impact your bottom line.
Positioning yourself as “part of the team” gives you a chance to reach a wider customer base and price your products and services with a social consciousness premium.
Deepened Competitive Advantage
Maintaining a reputation as a giving, grateful, and socially conscious organization is not an approach every business takes.
When you adopt a CSR strategy, you set your business apart from more seemingly traditional concerns that are “all about the money.” By earning more community trust, you can position yourself as the preferred option in any saturated market. Higher
Employee Retention Rates
Today’s employees find fulfillment in working for a socially responsible company, which means your CSR efforts will make them less likely to quit. According to a recent study, 95% of employees who work for purpose-driven companies report that they are more loyal to their employer.
With employee retention being more difficult to achieve than it’s been in a generation, refusing to address CSR concerns can have a caustic effect on your company’s ability to attract and keep top talent.
Invigorated Employee Engagement
Your motivation to make a difference in society motivates your employees to engage more in their work. In a whitepaper published by America’s Charities, CSR practices are directly linked to improved job performance and productivity among employees. Due to this increase in employee retention rates and engagement, companies also stand to benefit from reduced costs.
Revitalized Relationship Building
Whether it’s with your customer base, workforce, business associates, or the world at large, strong CSR efforts will help you forge relationships that can be beneficial to everyone involved.
The benefits of CSR to companies may be larger than you’d expect.
Stuart Goldstein described this on the same Team Building Saves the World podcast when he pointed out that “it’s actually something that consumers are looking for.”
“There was a Nielson study in 2015 saying that more than 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service if the business prioritizes sustainability. These are all things that companies need to think about if they want to be successful in the future.”
Destroying the environment will ultimately negatively impact your business, so environmental CSR makes sense in a real way. However, it also makes economic sense.
Transitioning to sustainable options can require some large upfront costs, but sustainable systems tend to be cheaper to operate over the long run. As fuel and other inputs inevitably get more expensive, companies that transition away from costly technologies first will see the greatest financial advantage.
Hit Your Social Impact Goals with TeamBondingCSR
Now that you know the benefits of CSR for your organization, you’re probably wondering how exactly to incorporate its concepts into your business practices.
TeamBondingCSR has the expertise and the experience to accrue the benefits of CSR for your company.
Instead of creating your own CSR team and spreading your workforce thin in the process, you can hire our CSR management team to tackle the task for you.
TeamBondingCSR can assess your company’s values, needs, and goals through a simple four-step process to create the right CSR plan for your organization. We’ll provide you with hard data to prove the effectiveness of your organization’s new CSR strategy.
Employee Volunteer Programs
One of the best ways to incorporate CSR into your business practices is volunteering time to nonprofit organizations. However, the logistics behind these efforts can be daunting and too complex to handle in-house.
Between finding the perfect charitable organization, picking the right event, and managing your budget, things can get stressful if you choose to do it all alone. To alleviate the stress, TeamBuildingCSR can provide you with a wide selection of volunteer kits that simplify this process and save you time.
Build-It-Yourself Volunteer Kits
If you’d like a bit more creative control with your employee volunteer programs, you can try a build-it-yourself volunteer kit. TeamBondingCSR will coordinate with the charity or nonprofit of your choice to make sure you have everything you need to successfully implement a team building volunteer event. This includes shipping all relevant materials and tools to your headquarters or individual team members.
All you do is select an activity and a nonprofit, and we’ll do the rest.