Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the initiatives a business takes to assess responsibility for the effects it has on environmental and social wellbeing. In today’s business climate, corporate social responsibility plays a more crucial role than ever before, with studies revealing that millennials wish to work at businesses that are regarded as responsible and ethical.
According to The Guardian, “Of those born between 1981 and 1996, 62% want to work for a company that makes a positive impact, half prefer purposeful work to a high salary, and 53% would work harder if they were making a difference to others.” This means that if you want to attract fresh talent to your small business, you need to be thinking about CSR as a business concept. As well as this, most clients actively want to back the companies that are across this principle.
This might seem like a daunting topic, but in reality, most companies share the same simple priorities and there are multiple ways to incorporate CSR into your business practices if you run an SME or SMB (small to medium enterprise or small to medium business).
CSR principle #1: Focus on responsible staffing
As you know, employees are the greatest asset at any business owner’s company plan and vision. Therefore, treating them well should be top of the agenda for internal reasons. But irresponsible staffing, especially when using international markets has gained a lot of bad press. Frankly, you cannot afford to let your venture follow suit. If you do, the repercussions could be severe.
Aside from paying a fair wage, you should create safe working environments and invest in staff development. Pensions and similar schemes can have a hugely positive impact too. Apart from anything else, it should encourage greater motivation levels across the board. Make sure you are familiar with your country’s laws and make sure you get professional advice, or this issue might rear its head with negative repercussions eventually.
CSR principle #2: Take care with your resource management
Reducing your SMB’s carbon footprint is a social issue that most small business owners now pay attention to. It’s imperative that your business leads the way by incorporating eco-friendly operations. How do you go about this? Well, experts at an organisation such as SESL can provide environmental consulting to cover a whole host of issues. Ultimately, this will lead to a greener, cleaner operation. Do some research on what is right for your business, and seek the correct advice from experts in the field.
Remember, it’s not all about the major changes, though. In truth, the simple ideas like upgrading to LED lights and turning computers off when the office shuts down for the night can be equally telling. In addition to impressing clients and employees alike, this should bring financial rewards too.
CSR principle #3: Cut down on paperwork
If there’s only one change that every business can incorporate, paperless technology is the answer. While it might not be possible to make a complete transformation, transitioning towards this solution is easy. From storing invoices to managing staff communication through online apps, those changes are sure to make a huge impact on the bottom line.
Internal matters aren’t the only way to incorporate digital tech. A niche blog and other digital marketing methods will reduce your costs and produce better results. The fact that they will also aid your bid to become a greener company is merely a bonus.
CSR principle #4: Make socially responsible purchases
Perfecting the direct aspects of your SME or SMB will naturally have a huge impact on your business. However, it’s equally important that your purchasing decisions embrace those positive, ethical partners as well. There are lots of places to turn for help, for example, the experts at VegWare can hook you up with eco-friendly packaging. This is a purchasing decision that will actively be noticed by all clients too, which is why it’s a fantastic solution.
So, corporate social responsibility is vital. Opting for eco-friendly coffee cups and items for the office equipment shows that you are serious about being responsible. Even if this doesn’t get noticed, that shouldn’t be the main incentive in the first place. Working in the best possible fashion will always be the incentive.
Corporate social responsibility is everyone’s business
There are many benefits of corporate social responsibility to your business, as listed here on NiBusiness Info UK. Some of them are:
- better brand recognition
- positive SMB reputation
- potential for positive media attention
- identifying new business opportunities
- increased sales and customer loyalty
- operational business costs savings
- better financial performance.
- greater ability to attract talent and retain staff.
- organisational growth.
- easier access to capital.