6 surprising benefits of corporate social responsibility
Updated: Nov 10, 2018
Apart from obvious benefits like increased brand recognition and reputation, corporate social responsibility has many hidden benefits which are just as important to your business. Find out how a CSR/CSI strategy will help boost your bottom line.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) not only has the ability to improve the lives of those whom the project is aimed at, but of those who are involved along the way.
You’re probably familiar with some of the obvious CSR benefits, such as:
Improved corporate reputation
Increased sales and customer loyalty
However, there are many lesser known but equally important benefits of implementing a CSR/CSI strategy in your business. Driving CSR projects within your business can produce (among many) the following benefits:
1. Improved sense of purpose in the workplace
It’s no longer enough to work simply for a paycheck, as more and more people (millenials in particular) are seeking purpose in their day to day lives. Employees seek to contribute to something bigger than themselves, and to positively impact the world and the lives of people around them.
Companies today are striving to achieve a connection with their consumers and employees through purpose, authenticity and identity.
As seen in this article in the Entrepreneur Magazine, millennials want to grow and evolve as people. They are as intrinsically motivated as they are extrinsically motivated in the workplace.
A sound CSR programme, which aligns with the companies set of values, has the ability to drive this sense of purpose and drive a greater sense of community.
According to research conducted by Deloitte, employees who were encouraged to participate in CSR (and contribute to a better world) felt a deeper connection with their employer. These staff members were more likely to stay with a single employer for five years or more compared to those who did not.
2. Improved employee health
Extending on the previous point, studies have shown that with increased sense of purpose comes improved health.
It’s said that the key to happiness is contributing to reducing the suffering of the oppressed and less fortunate around us. According to studies sourced from psychology today, a purpose has the ability to reduce stress, and drive personal and spiritual development through the idealism of a cause.
How does this help your business?
Put simply, healthier happier, employees = increased productivity!
3. Teamwork and staff morale
CSR is a great team building initiative, which has a way of bringing your employees together to make a difference. We’re not talking about the “annual once-off PR drive” of painting a creche. We’re talking about a regular team building activity that the team can grow with and continuously contribute to. The team will see the fruit of their contribution and will enjoy working together for the greater social good.
Continuous CSR initiatives drive a sense of community among both the team and your chosen charity.
4. South African upliftment
Your company has the ability to help uplift less fortunate communities within this beautiful country. That in itself is a very good reason to participate in CSR/CSI initiatives - helping your fellow South Africans just because you can! In the wise words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
“Bringing people together is what I call ‘ubuntu’ which means ‘I am because we are’. Far too often people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”
5. Helping others drive creativity
CSR inspires businesses and employees to think creatively. Why? Because they’re challenged to build businesses processes which support their CSR project. CSR doesn’t need to involve a large investment; this along with other restrictions (time, resources and so on) will evoke a greater need for creativity.
CSR encourages out of the box thinking through seeking creative solutions for your chosen community or cause. CSR could even be a series of small, simple initiatives such as donating your skills (pro bono work), purchasing local produce from upliftment projects, or introducing recycling initiatives.
The possible impact to be made along the value chain and departments is endless.
6. Individual philanthropy
By making your employees more aware of the impact they have, you’ll enhance a personal sense of responsibility. You’ll also drive generosity and charity within their personal homes - creating a “pay it forward” effect.
CSR presents a good opportunity to link your business to a cause which ties in with your business strategy and corporate identity. As you can see, CSR doesn’t only positively impact your brand by generating positive media coverage and association. It has many surprising hidden benefits for your staff and stakeholders.
Consumers are more likely to be attracted to corporates who contribute to CSR. As with employees, consumers want to feel like they are making an indirect impact, by supporting your company and brand.
When choosing a cause, make sure that your CSR efforts benefit society as a whole, for that authenticity will shine through - placing your company in a positive spotlight.
You can read more on the best ways to make the most of your CSR in this article.
If you’re ready to make corporate social responsibility part of your corporate culture, contact us. Our passionate team would love to help match you to the perfect cause.