Why is CSR Important for Businesses | Benefits & Tips to Improve
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a topic of increasing importance in recent years. As more and more consumers, employees, and suppliers place value on the businesses they support, it’s critical to ensure that you are keeping up with the trend.
At Cloud Assess, we have made it our mission to provide a service that not only helps improve your business but also does so in a manner in line with CSR. In this post, we’re going to discuss why CSR is so important to businesses and also give you some inside tips on how you can improve.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR is a term used to describe a business’ attitude towards contributing to the social, economic, and environmental upliftment of communities in which they operate. In the past, everything was just about profit, but as people become more aware of the impact that these organisations have, an increased importance is placed on giving back. If companies fail to do so, not only can their reputation be damaged, but their valuable clients will start to look elsewhere for more community-conscious competitors.
Whether it is out of the need to comply with mandatory regulations or simply to help uplift other stakeholders within their operating environment, businesses are slowly seeing the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
While helping the communities and environments that supported you is reward enough, this is often not enough of a motivating factor to kick-start businesses into action. Here are some quantifiable benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility that you can use to justify your decision.
1. Helps Increase Profits
Being socially responsible comes at a cost, but how does it affect revenue? More and more companies are experiencing the relationship between CSR and an increase in profits. This is because CSR initiatives can lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved risk management.
In addition, CSR can help companies to access new markets and attract potential customers. The more that consumers are aware of the concerted effort your responsible business is making towards giving back, the better your company’s image will be. This is not only applicable for consumers, but also for B2B customers who are becoming increasingly critical regarding their suppliers’ CSR policies.
2. Improves Employee Retention
CSR is not only about factors external to your business, it’s also about ensuring that employees are treated fairly and have improved work environments. Whether this translates to regular training, internal advancement opportunities, or simply reducing work risk, employees are more likely to stay at a company that is actively trying to improve their situation.
Given that training new employees is a huge expense to big and small companies, this benefit alone can help reduce production costs while improving employee productivity and growth potential.
3. Allows Access to Capital & Investors
Are you struggling to attract new investors to your business? Well, a CSR program could be what’s missing. Because CSR is becoming increasingly important, investors are mainly looking to get involved with companies that understand this. It’s more attractive from a PR perspective, but it also provides a sense of long-term security for their investments. Companies that can stand up to the test of socially conscious consumers are always going to be a better place to invest your money.
4. Uplifts Communities
When businesses help their communities, it leads to a ripple effect that benefits them too. Most importantly, consumers will see this company in a new light if it is willing to put some of their profits back into their communities.
Not only that, but the best environment for companies to operate in is one that is thriving and continuing to grow. By providing for communities, local facilities can improve and attract further investment and growth. The result? An environment that is better to operate in and more conducive to generating higher revenues. This is especially true in lower-income communities where businesses can make huge differences in the status quo.
5. Protects Your Business’ Operating Environment
A huge focus of Corporate Social Responsibility is to do with social and environmental issues that surround businesses. While we previously looked at the positive impact of improving local communities, it’s also important to consider environmental sustainability.
Whether it be reducing your carbon footprint to help combat global warming, avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and single-use plastics that jeopardise our water supplies, or simply ensuring that the resources you use do not become depleted through unsustainable practices, a social responsibility plan can help protect the planet and ultimately your business’ operating environment.
For example, if you are a company that sells bottled water. It is in your best interest to invest in CSR plans that help protect this valuable and limited resource. Even if this doesn’t lead to any quantifiable increase in profits, it will ensure that you can continue to operate for years to come. There’s no better way to protect your revenue than by contributing to a healthy Earth.
Tips to Improve Corporate Social Responsibility in Businesses
Now that you know how businesses can benefit from Corporate Responsibility, let’s look at some of the main ways you can incorporate this into your organisation today.
1. Set Clear & Specific Goals
For any venture to succeed, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals. This will help ensure that the social responsibility plan you want to implement doesn’t become just another pipedream. Identify the areas that you are going to adapt and focus on achieving these objectives. It is also a great way to ensure that your CSR plan is complementary to your company’s values, mission and vision.
2. Measure the Impact
Goals are the first step, but if you don’t have a means of measuring the success of the campaign, how will you know if it worked? These measurement criteria should be in-line with your goals. For example, if you set out a goal to reduce your use of single-use plastic, measuring how much you continue to use is necessary to gauge success.
3. Involve Employees
As with almost every development plan, businesses need to have employee engagement. There are two benefits to this. Firstly, it helps improve employee satisfaction and makes them feel like they are a part of the business’ growth and success. Secondly, it is a great way to ensure that the goals you set are in line with the ideals of your employees, which will prevent any internal resistance to your plan.
4. Partner with Local Organisations
Corporate Responsibility is all about focusing on external and internal stakeholders. If you’re not actively involving the community and local organisations, your plan might not achieve the goals you had set out. These stakeholders can often provide valuable insight into the needs and wants of the community. It is also a great way to show people that this is a serious effort and not just something to try and manipulate consumers into supporting your business. The term ‘greenwashing’ is an important one to consider here.
5. Keep Up to Date With Trends
This tip has never been more important than in the modern era. With technological advancements and trends changing daily, it’s essential to ensure that your CSR plan doesn’t become outdated.
Is there a new chemical that has been found to be harmful to the environment? Incorporate this into your plan. Is there a new technology that can help reduce carbon emissions? Look at getting it for your business. If you want your CSR plan to be effective, you need to stay on top of any new changes.
6. Switch to an Employee Training Software
Employee training continues to be a large part of a business’s annual expenditure. Whether for training new employees or uplifting current ones, switching to employee training software could be one of the easiest ways to improve your business’ Corporate Social Responsibility.
While reducing training costs is a great benefit, there’s more to it. Think of the two main environmental impacts that are involved with traditional training methods:
The use of paper continues to be a huge contributing factor to carbon emissions each year. Cutting down trees, excessive use of electricity and water, and a huge contribution to landfills each year. Did you know that 30 million tons of paper are produced each year? And almost 26% of this is going to the rubbish dumps. That’s a lot of waste…
By switching to a modern training method, like employee training software, you can drastically reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Software like ours at Cloud Assess eliminates the need for paper entirely. Whether it be training modules, assessments, or skills tracking, online learning platforms can provide them with everything they need digitally.
Vehicle Emissions & Waste Materials
Travel emissions and waste materials continue to be a hot topic in 2023. Whether it’s the air pollution coming from traditional combustion engines or the environmental impact of mining minerals to make electric vehicles, travelling comes at a cost to our planet.
When it comes to training, it often requires travel, either from the trainers themselves or for the entire team being trained. This means, no matter what method of transport you are using, your training is increasing your carbon footprint.
In order to cut down on this pollution, switch to an online training platform instead. The training can take place from wherever the employees are and it also offers the added benefit of being much more flexible. Allowing deskless workers to take their training along to where they are working.
Final Thoughts on Corporate Responsibility for Businesses
Corporate Social Responsibility is one of those things that businesses cannot avoid. More people are becoming environmentally conscious and are starting to turn their backs on companies that are not doing their best to improve the environment in which they operate.
If you are interested in improving your business’ CSR plan, consider reaching out to Cloud Assess so that we can help you implement an environmentally-friendly training and assessment platform for your business today. We also offer a free trial so that you can experience first-hand the benefit of using a modern learning alternative.
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