You might be a small, medium or larger scale company but one thing you all have in common is a capacity to do good. The benefits of incorporating a Corporate Social Responsibility programme are well documented and easy to find, what’s less easy to find is how to go about setting up a CSR programme in your organisation.
For those who’ve never come across this before, quite simply CSR aims to connect with the local community by carrying out charitable work or making donations for the greater good. It might be that staff members are given time off to go and read to children in schools or carry out some painting for a local community centre or that the company chooses a specific charity to support with donations and staff regularly giving up their time.
The beauty of CSR is that you don’t have to be any particular type of company. Anyone from banks to a business that manufactures belt conveyor systems can get involved and become part of the community around them. So, what are the benefits to you? We take a look at why you should consider CSR a part of your business plan.
Ask your staff to choose a charity close to their hearts to support and chances are you’ll find people with a story to tell. Demonstrating that you, corporately, care about your staff member’s experiences and the things that matter most to them is a great way of building up loyalty. Employees will get a lot out of helping a local organisation and find a little colour added to their week when released to help.
Your staff, in turn, become your brand ambassadors, particularly if carrying out work wearing your corporate branded t-shirts and so on. Consider it free advertising and the chance to build up a bank of goodwill with new and existing customers.
CSR almost always pays off in the long run. It gives you something to talk about on your website besides business and helps provide a very human face to an otherwise corporate entity. Allowing staff to engage with their communities is a sure-fire way of building on your good name and brings genuine benefit to local organisations that might otherwise struggle financially or without your staff helping. It promotes team bonding and will foster a great sense of loyalty to your brand.
If you’re interested in starting a CSR programme, read about some examples from other companies of a similar size to you and seen how they go about incorporating it in a practical way. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to set aside a Friday afternoon for CSR activities and how much you get back from it, both personally and corporately.
Inspire your team and your community by getting involved at grassroots level yourself and you’ll be building a brand that has the goodwill of everyone who works for it and a potential new customer base to boot. There’s simply no downside.