"By accepting responsibility, we take effective steps toward our goal: an inclusive human society on a habitable planet, a society that works for all humans and for all nonhumans. By accepting responsibility, we move closer to creating a world that works for all."
― Sharif M. Abdullah
Corporate social responsibility is a management concept adopted by various companies today, to give back to the society, what they have received from them. The big conglomerates view this as an opportunity to aid the society with the benefits they have earned. However, in reality, corporate social responsibility or CSR has a different tone. Today, corporates have to be responsible towards their surroundings for their own good. With growing environmental concerns and more and more groups supporting various environmental causes, corporates can no longer be lax in their attitude towards others.
Being socially responsible also has several benefits for every company. Until now, most companies believed that CSR is just a thing to do for tax benefits and to muffle the voices of those who raise it against certain corporate practices. However, going beyond these myopic point of views, companies have now realized how a few simple acts of kindness can benefit them in more ways than one. Let us take a look at why corporate social responsibility is important to every business.
Every company needs to build trust and a good reputation amongst its employees, vendors, customers, and investors. These two ingredients go a long way in determining the success of your enterprise. Being socially responsible is one way of building this much-needed trust and reputation. It is important to have a relevant CSR plan to earn this kind of a goodwill. All of this put together can open new horizons for the company and gain more acceptance for its ways of functioning.
Several cosmetic manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies earn a bad reputation for certain practices, such as testing products on animals or environmental hazards that their manufacturing plants may pose. Proactive CSR, which is obliged towards giving back to the society for all the monetary gains it makes, is always seen as an act of generosity. And this assists the biggest players too, to climb the ladder of a cleaner conscience and positive image of themselves.
Attracts and Retains Staff
Doing meaningful, good work does good to you too! Several college students consider interning or working with companies who have a good CSR setup. This gives students a chance to do social work, while honing their professional skills. Also, as employees realize they can make a positive difference to someone's life, it adds to their job satisfaction. This becomes an important reason why they like to be associated with companies which are socially responsible.
What differentiates brands, such as The Body Shop, Microsoft, and Kellogg's from their counterparts is their CSR. These companies have used positive image building to their maximum advantage by luring customers with their philanthropic good deeds. Ideating and developing products that are energy-efficient or eco-friendly can get you a huge customer base, as compared to developing the best non-environmental product.
Investors and financiers are attracted to companies who are socially responsible. These decision makers know that this reflects good management and a positive reputation. Don't underestimate this influence; it can be just as important as your company's financial performance. In fact, it may be the deciding factor in choosing to support your company.
CSR platforms provide your employees several opportunities to explore their potential. It gives them a chance to work in a team, to lead projects, build relationships, and learn new skills. Well-designed CSR activities help the companies grow professionally, by enriching the employees with myriad useful experiences.
A CSR program has to be implemented strategically to derive maximum benefits from it. The motive of your corporate social responsibility should match the vision and mission of your company. A successful CSR is the one from which both the company and cause benefit and grow as independent entities.