Hit a Triple Win with Corporate Social Responsibility

corporate social responsibility

Fess up. Wouldn’t you be stoked to receive an award or named on a list as one of the top, well, something? Imagine the accolades. One of those lists, reported by Forbes magazine, is: Companies with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reputations in the World. Wow, prestigious designation. This list is compiled by the Reputation Institute, a Boston consulting firm that annually measures how people feel about large companies. Interestingly, the honorees for 2016 all have strong brand recognition. In other words, people recognize their names.

Companies with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility
Reputations in the World.

corporate-social-responsibility

What they also share is the fact that they were added to this list based on the impressions of some 240,000 consumers from 15 countries; people largely unqualified to make a call of this caliber. Forbes reports a spokesperson for the Reputation Institute stressed the results “are merely an indicator of which firms consumers believe are socially responsible.” Let’s talk about that.

The belief in an organization’s corporate social responsibility is legitimate when evidence attests to the good being done. Much of that evidence (outside of direct beneficiaries) comes from the employees attracted to organizations that truly do make a difference.

I need to work toward a mission. The company environment is different when you’re working toward a mission rather than a bottom line. You’re in it together. Working for a common goal. I’ve found it hard to be motivated to line someone else’s pockets. Even if I don’t always love what I do day to day, I know I’m working for a good purpose, putting something good into the world.”

This is a direct quote from a 33 year-young employee of the organization behind TED Talks, an organization whose mission, by the way, is to spread ideas; believing passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world.

corporate-social-responsibility-team

The drum-call for CSR keeps getting louder and more persistent.

A white paper (commissioned by Mandrake) exploring the connection between corporate social responsibility and employee engagement cites findings from a global survey of 1.6 million employees. Some of those findings and other document highlights follow:

  • Some 44 percent of young professionals would discount an employer with a bad reputation and nearly half said corporate social responsibility policies should be compulsory.
  • Working for an organization whose employees positively view corporate responsibility efforts has a significant, favorable impact on how they rate…
    • their pride in the organization,
    • their overall satisfaction
    • their willingness to recommend it as a place to work and
    • their intention to stay.
  • Seven out of 10 employees in organizations that are viewed by employees as socially responsible rated senior management as having high integrity compared with just one in five employees who were negative about their employer’s CSR record.
  • CSR is the third most important driver of employee engagement overall; an organization’s reputation for social responsibility is an important driver for both engagement and retention.

These kinds of results are better than any award, wouldn’t you agree? But how do you get there if your organization’s social responsibility is wanting? Here are five suggestions.

  1. How about inviting employees to take part in choosing who or what you’re going to throw your social responsibility weight behind. If that decision has already been made, what about getting some input on how or when or what else. Throw your CSR doors open to imaginations and possibilities.
  2. Weave CSR through the daily fabric of your organization. Give it a place in your vision, mission, and values.
  3. Make time for volunteer time. If you’re bold and genuinely committed, make a loud and clear statement that you really mean what you say by writing volunteering into your policies.
  4. Millennials - your work source and force of tomorrow - are curious lifelong learners. Feed into this with your CSR. Support or better yet search out and offer growth opportunities that involve volunteer postings. There are all kinds of non-profit and non-governmental organizations ready to welcome that kind of roll up your sleeves and git’r done help. They’re everywhere, from down the street and around the corner, on out to the far corners of the world. Find those that fit with your corporate social responsibility focus. Power up with partnerships.
  5. Think along the same lines as Towers Watson, a global professional services firm that, after digesting the results of a worldwide workforce study concluded the need to embrace corporate social responsibility is no longer a choice. Employees expect it. Organizations need it.

When all is in place and your organization’s corporate social responsibility is as it should be, take a quiet bow. Celebrate the triple-win for your organization, workforce, and economic or social or environmental benefactors. Though there may not be a flashing marquee or prestigious award there’s much to be proud of; most especially the pride and engagement of your employees and the positive changes that come with.

author patricia bell newson

About Patricia Bell Newson

A graduate of Canada’s leading Journalism Degree program, Patricia Bell Newson is an accomplished writer and communications specialist. As a key member of the TalentMap team, Pat leads the company’s thought leadership with full force producing weekly content on employee engagement and best practices in employee surveys. Pat’s experience in advising leaders on strategic approaches to sensitive issues, priorities, and policies together with her ability to research and easily grasp various concepts regarding the workplace has been a great asset in creating valuable insights for HR leaders.

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