In the business world, doing good for others can actually be good for your bottom line.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – when businesses incur costs in support of social or environmental causes that are not connected to immediate financial profits – is becoming a more commonplace practice among businesses, from startups to multinationals. A one-time justification for CSR was that it was a fulfilment of a business’ moral obligation to society, but when the bottom line of staying in business is financial success there must be more benefit when a company adopts new policies. Luckily, for society and the environment, it turns out adopting CSR policies can support the profitability of business – in more than one way.
How can Corporate Social Responsibility engage your employees?
A 2012 study by Net Impact, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting social and environmental causes in the workplace, measured the importance of socially responsible businesses to both current and potential employees. The study found that among current employees, twice as many were satisfied when they felt their work made a social or environmental impact. When employee turnover is a concern, employee satisfaction can be the key to retention.
When asked about happiness, 53% of current employees reported that a job with social impact was very important or essential to their happiness; among students, the soon-to-be workforce, 72% reported the same feelings.
Among students, the potential employees that companies are competing to attract, over a third would take a pay cut for a company committed to CSR and nearly half would take a pay cut for a job that makes a social or environmental impact. This is a valuable insight as businesses are working to attract millennials, who will soon make up the majority of the workforce.
If employees are more satisfied, happier, and willing to take a pay cut for companies that prioritize CSR, then the practice has a clear return on investment for businesses. Happier (satisfied, engaged, and committed) employees are more productive and thus a greater asset to their employers. However, the benefits of CSR don’t stop with employees!
Other benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility for your business?
In addition to employee engagement, CSR is an opportunity to expand your business network and engage customers. Access to new markets (contracts, suppliers, etc.) or potential customers that share an interest in a social or environmental cause can be one benefit of adopting CSR policies. Also, in the same way that employees respond well to businesses that prioritize CSR, it can be a path to better engaging current customers and developing their loyalty to your brand.
Ready to bring Corporate Social Responsibility to your business?
Want to begin adopting Corporate Social Responsibility policies for your workplace? Getting started can be as simple as modifying your current activities. Small changes in the way you practice business can compound over time as you scale up your activities or form partnerships to expand your impact, and presence, in your market.
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