The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

In the past, a typical candidate would often go for employers that compensate employees well, provide opportunities to grow, and establish a positive working environment. In the same way, consumers prefer brands that people talk about for product quality and customer service. Fast forward to 2020, nothing became more important than how companies and brands made efforts in dealing with their employees and helping the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Which companies rose to the occasion? Which brands set themselves apart? Which leaders focused on keeping and taking care of their employees despite the economic downturn?

These are a few questions that come to mind in considering the next best company to work in or the most socially responsible brand to support. Half of the millennials – potential employees and customers alike – are open to receiving salary cuts only to work with a company promoting awareness and taking actions in societal, economic, and environmental issues.

Who would not want to be part of that, right? But is it worth all the trouble?

YES!

Here’s why:

ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE & CORE VALUES

Every company has its own vision and mission statements, as well as their company values. Does yours include helping others, making a difference, or giving back to the community? It would not hurt to highlight those, especially now that the masses look at and for purpose, culture, values more than ever. Research shows a 50% decrease in the attrition rate for companies that engage employees through CSR programs. People have an innate desire to do good but do not always have the time, platform, or opportunity to do so. This is where your company comes in.

CSR efforts not only allows your employees to do good for the community, but also gives them a sense of pride, boosts morale, and bonds with co-workers in a different setting. This is especially important these days because many businesses have closed, and many professionals lost their jobs. This would be the time for employers to step up and give employees reassurance on their job security. Be transparent in your communication. On top of that, employees may be given an option to do their part in helping others: they can make monetary or non-monetary donations, be understanding with salary cuts (so as not to lay off others), or simply lending a listening ear to others who have lost their jobs. Empower your employees by making them feel needed despite the ongoing crisis. Be there for them and let them know that they can be there for others, too.

BRAND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

 

Your company may have similar products and services from similar brands, but what can set you apart will lie in your CSR efforts. Make your brand stand out by doing something good for the community. There are times when brands may not even produce good quality items or have great customer service in place, but the masses still choose them because of their role in the grand scheme of things. Community engagement makes up 40% of your brand. It puts the companies in a positive light (or a not so positive one depending on your CSR efforts). If done right, people will be talking about your brand and how it positively impacts the environment – publicity! This can be done through word of mouth and different social media platforms. If you want people to talk about your brand, better give them something great to discuss – start working on your CSR programs!

CSR programs have a great impact on a brand’s reputation. This will attract top talent, loyal customers, and potential business partners advocating the same cause. More than 65% of professionals choose to work in socially, economically, or environmentally responsible companies. Moreover, 40% of consumers pay more attention to and develop trust for brands that make a positive impact on society. This is an opportunity for your company to find ways in addressing the current needs of society and the environment.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Raising awareness and supporting a cause conveys a message that will stick with your consumers, potential employees, and business partners: You care. Whether it be for the environment, for the animals, for the children, and so on, what matters is that you care and you incorporate it in your company activities whilst upholding your core values. Who wouldn’t want to work in a company that genuinely allots time, energy, and money for the community? And as customers, who wouldn’t want to purchase an item where proceeds go to charity? Make your consumers and employees feel that they play a role in the bigger picture by availing of services or working in your company.

Before the lockdown, companies have been involved in all sorts of CSR activities such as clean-up drives, home construction, feeding programs, and funding animal welfare. Due to the current situation, lending a hand to the community also went through changes. For example, cloth-masks became available and preferred over surgical ones as it was more environmentally friendly, comfortable, and even stylish.

Companies chose to do different things to deal with their communities within the company: their employees. Some had to resort to layoffs, while others retained their employees but had to make some adjustments such as salary cuts and holding off on increments. Employees were also required and encouraged to continue working from home. For others, employers were given a chance to use up all their leave credits or even take days off without pay to balance expenses – this was an option so employers would not resort to terminating employees. All these efforts have been noted not just by the employees but also by those who have heard their stories.

Feeling good (and being able to boast) about your company in their efforts of retaining employees and helping others is one of the best things that could happen this year. And upon reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, as many are hopeful to be nearing, professionals and consumers would be looking back at the companies who have left a mark during this health crisis (unfortunately, both the good and the bad). Moreover, 63% of consumers would like to see how companies’ CSR efforts will change or continue once COVID-19 is over.

We will have to wait and find out. For the time being, consider looking at your company’s efforts and work on your brand accordingly.

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