From offices closing on Election Day to companies that forgo serving meat at the annual picnic, organizations that showcase their values are making waves while simultaneously reaping the benefits of corporate social responsibility. But whether your business stands against gun violence or eschews cruelty against animals, there’s a right way to effectively communicate your values.
Here’s some insight into how taking the moral high ground can attract new talent and re-engage current employees, as well as several tips for avoiding egregious mistakes while taking a stand.
Considering the Benefits of Corporate Responsibility
Companies are quickly becoming aware that in order to attract culture-fit talent, they may want to levy corporate social responsibility initiatives surrounding climate change, gender equality or any number of hot-button issues or values they feel strongly about. Today’s recruiters have noticed that candidates—especially millennials—want to align themselves with companies that are socially, morally and environmentally conscious.
In fact, millennials are 5.3 times more likely to remain with a company when they have a strong connection to their employer’s purpose, according to a report by PwC. What’s more, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 62 percent of business professionals said they wouldn’t work for an organization if they disagreed with its stated beliefs.
The benefits of corporate social responsibility extend beyond the good deeds of giving back and making a difference. In a nutshell, when employees—and not just millennials—are happy at work and share ideals, there tends to be an uptick in productivity and, therefore, revenue.
10 Tips for Introducing CSR at Your Organization
Corporate social responsibility is more than just a gesture: It’s a positive, socially conscious way to attract the right employees. Yes, there may be folks who’ll be turned off if they’re opposed to your company’s stand, but there will also be those who are psyched to work for your company because it champions social issues they’re passionate about.
Here are 10 ways you can transform your business model to reap the potential benefits of corporate social responsibility:
- Establish your corporate values. Try to find common ground in areas most people show support; for instance, school safety, safe drinking water or a clean ocean. Address these issues in the company handbook and make sure they’re universally known as the mission, vision and values the company stands for—during recruitment and beyond.
- Study other businesses and implement any corporate responsibility actions that could work for your company, too.
- Identify potential projects (like building homes, mentoring students or closing on Black Friday) that could help your organization solidify a family-friendly policy.
- Create a list of projects that could strengthen the organization’s sense of social responsibility, such as hosting local events and activities, starting a scholarship fund or coordinating a mentoring program.
- Continually look for ways to improve your company’s environmental footprint.
- Give, but not just money! Explore opportunities to give back that don’t break the bank, such as volunteering outings and office food drives.
- Seek out team members who are interested in being involved with, or potentially running, corporate responsibility programs—and give them a shot.
- Encourage employees to brainstorm ideas for how the organization can be more involved with its value initiatives. Consider holding contests and facilitating discussions at the water cooler, or install a suggestion box to generate feedback.
- Avoid self-serving messaging that’s all about the company. It’s all about being part of a larger community.
- Carefully consider responding publicly to social or political issues that relate to your corporate values. There may be risks for companies that promote their values externally, since not everyone will agree with the stance, but it can resonate with many more individuals.
Remember, no company is too small to take on a social or environmental cause it believes strongly in. And taking a stand can literally pay off! Research from Edelman found that 70 percent of consumers are willing to pay more to patronize businesses that support social causes they deemed worthwhile.
Not everyone will agree with your organization’s mission, but those who do may end up being valuable, culture-fit employees—or loyal customers. So, for companies in today’s modern world, taking a stand may not be such a bad thing after all.
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