CSR Strategies

06/05/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

Companies have believed for years that their only responsibility was a financial one maximizing value for shareholders. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a new idea, one in which the corporate sector incorporates social and environmental concerns in its strategies and plays a more responsible role in the world. This paper will argue that with some effort and foresight, corporate social responsibility can be integrated seamlessly into the goals of almost all organizations. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the chief executives who must always initiate and implement CSR. Project managers have the ability to introduce CSR in their work and promote social good within the firm. If properly understood and executed, CSR is a win-win strategy that benefits the company, as well as society.

  1. Soliciting Feedback and Engagement to Maximize Stakeholder Value

Socially responsible companies must listen to all of their stakeholders (internal and external communities). The strongest community initiatives incorporate feedback from employees, consumers, and the individuals that the initiative impacts.

According to Glassdoor, 75% of employees and job seekers expect their employer to support local community causes through donations or volunteer efforts. Employee engagement strengthens the connection between a company’s social responsibility program and workplace culture. CSR and HR leaders should educate employees about initiatives and how they can get involved. Corporate Social Responsibility goals and metrics can play an important role in these conversations.

  1. Socially Responsible Companies Leverage Their Core Capabilities

Companies also achieve authenticity when they play to their strengths. The most impactful socially responsible companies take advantage of their strongest assets.

  1. Designing Goals with Measurable Impact

Socially responsible companies set measurable goals. Measurable goals keep organizations accountable to themselves and stakeholders.

CSR leaders design goals with multiple priorities in mind. These priorities include community impact, internal business practices, marketing reach, and public and government relations.

Executives should focus first on metrics that relate directly to a CSR program’s performance. If, for example, a program targets changes in the firm’s supply chain, executives should set clear and objective benchmarks. The firm should evaluate supply chain changes through raw numbers, percent changes, and industry comparables and communicate these changes to internal and external stakeholders.

  1. Promoting Healthy and Inclusive Workplace Cultures

Social responsibility starts with workplace culture and your internal community. Organizations who keep this in mind, create environments in which their own employees can thrive and excel.

In 2018, a viral video sparked protests over racially-motivated arrests of two African-American men at a Philadelphia Starbucks. Starbucks responded by closing Starbucks stores across the country for a four-hour racial bias training. Sephora similarly shut down its stores for a one-hour diversity and inclusion training in 2019.

Those training sessions were a step in the right direction to maximizing shareholder value. High-visibility training efforts allow companies to communicate their values across all stakeholder segments, but companies need to go beyond a one-day focus on diversity and inclusion. Organizations must recognize hr or diversity training as just one piece of a larger, ongoing strategy to establish a positive company culture.

Socially responsible companies should require managers to translate the lessons of diversity and inclusion training to small-group and 1-on-1 settings. A robust workplace culture conversation also encompasses topics like physical health and mental wellness.

A strong workplace culture creates positive feedback loops that enhance a company’s social responsibility mission. Employees are more likely to do their best work and help their company succeed when they feel seen and heard. A successful and happy company attracts top talent who appreciate the company’s culture and positively contribute to the company’s culture. Culture-bearing employees are more likely to bring those inclusive values into their families, social circles, and communities and buy-in to company-sponsored corporate social responsibility initiatives. 

  1. Aligning Community Impact Goals with Business Practices

Successful socially-responsible companies identify causes that align with their corporate mission, employee base, and communities. These organizations then advance these causes through authentic and sincere actions.

How does a company express authenticity in their corporate social responsibility initiatives? Authenticity starts with skin in the game. A company demonstrates skin in the game when it makes material sacrifices or adjustments. Organizations should evaluate their community impact goals alongside their business practices. Executives should work toward alignment between these goals and practices.