What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility is a business model that incorporates sustainable development, as well as having a positive impact on social, economic and environmental factors. Businesses tend to commit to causes that are closely aligned with their business. It can be things like fundraising for a local charity, reducing the carbon footprint of your products or volunteering in the local community.
The recent Cadbury’s campaign, which saw unbranded chocolate bars filling the shelves of supermarkets, is a prime example of CSR. @CadburyUK are working with Age UK, donating the words from their bars to help the 225,000 older people who often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. It’s a clever marketing campaign that really makes you stop and think about the cause.
That type of CSR is all well and good if you have a large marketing budget and a strong team to prepare and launch the campaign. What about smaller businesses? Here are a few tips that you can start implementing into your business today:
- Have clear missions and values
As well as having a clear idea of what your CSR objectives are, you need to shout these from the rooftops too. On the careers page of your website, on your social media channels, on your printed brochures. You need to make potential employees aware of your offering, in order to attract those who have similar values to your business. Are you able to make your products in a more sustainable way, using recycled material? Then talk about it! These days, millennials are all about sustainability and upcycling.
- Include honesty as a key part of your culture
There’s no point pretending to be a company that’s focused on CSR when you’re just using it as a ploy to attract employees. Candidates need to know what your business stands for, and how you’re working closely with like-minded charities.
- Be ethical, as well as socially responsible
Veganism, going green and sustainability are all trending at the moment, particularly within the millennial generation. Candidates are looking for employers who are doing something a little bit different and contributing to the wider society. It’s not just about raising money for a good cause, but making small changes that will impact the environment in the long run. As recently mentioned in the Business News Daily, the next generation of employees are ‘focused on the triple bottom line: people, planet and revenue.’
- Create a mindset you want for your business
By starting off your CSR strategy in the right way, you will find that not only the reputation of your business improves, but so will the attitude of your employees. A positive mindset in the workplace will not only aid with productivity, but it can start a referral process from your current employees. A happy workforce are more likely to encourage their friends to join the business too.
- Focus on your brand
Although CSR is important, don’t forget the basics and what your value proposition is. Consistency is always key, particularly when it comes to spreading the word about your CSR across social media. Yes, you need to be highlighting how you stand out from your competitors, but also remember the basics about what makes your business attractive to potential employees too.
- Spread the word
When your business does something within your CSR strategy, be sure to tell the world. It’s all very well saying that you incorporate CSR into your business goals and objectives, but don’t forget to show the world the impact you’re having on other people’s lives. Companies that are highly purpose-driven are likely to outperform their competitors both via growth and profitability, by 5%–7% annually. Don’t keep your CSR strategy behind closed doors. Be proud of the impact your business is making and let both your potential employees and your clients aware of your efforts.
Ideas for CSR
As we mentioned earlier, some of the core ways to carry out CSR include raising money for charities, focusing on producing sustainable products and reducing the carbon footprint of your business. Here in Norwich there are many local causes that you can support, from donating to food banks to having a team-building litter picking day, coffee mornings, giving blood regularly or even volunteering within the care community.
If your business is really looking to make an impact locally, Stacy Bradley has set up a Uniform Bank Go Fund Me page, to help raise money for uniforms for school children whose parents are struggling financially. Even the smallest contributions to collections like this can make such a large impact on the lives of those less fortunate.
However you choose to make a contribution to the wider world, make it known. If you really do want to attract the very best talent, you need to resonate with like-minded individuals who support the causes that you help. Let us know if you would like anymore help on how to put together a CSR strategy for your business by contacting us today.