Corporate social responsibility has gathered a lot of momentum in the past decade to meet increasing demand.
Investors look for it, and top talent often expects it of prospective employers. As corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives gain popularity, data regarding best practices (and how to apply them to your business), have become more accessible.
At SalesPad, CSR initiatives strengthen corporate culture and contribute to an atmosphere that employees enjoy.
Over the past few months, we’ve:
- Held a successful blood drive.
- Donated to the children of D.A. Blodgett – St. John's.
- Delivered signed cards to the victim of a local hate crime.
We’re also forming relationships with other local non-profits and institutions, including No Surrender Running Club, Special Olympics Michigan, Kent Intermediate School District, SoftwareGR, and others.
I enjoy participating in our company initiatives. It helps me form new ways of thinking that I can take back to my job. Also, the connection this creates between myself, my community, and my workplace adds to the things that make SalesPad a great place to be.
CSR is often used for philanthropy, recruiting, and retention; it’s also a tool businesses can deploy to improve the bottom line.
There are many intangible benefits, such as increased community standing, customer loyalty, and a reputation that can protect your company during a downturn.
To create tangible benefits, you’ll need to refine, then target your approach. This is work, but we have the advantage of possessing more resources than ever before to help us make intelligent decisions.
There’s a lot of information out there, but here are some general guidelines that have emerged for CSR:
1. Consider forming partnerships, not just one time efforts.
- Strategic partners can have complementary goals leading to mutually beneficial situations.
- Flexibility from both sides is key. Often, the full benefits of a partnership take time to discover. Critical thinking and creativity play important roles when evaluating joint resources. Usually, both sides adjust operations to maximize mutual benefits
2. Start planning a long-term strategy.
- A plan with intermediate results, a roadmap to implementation, and details about company resources will go a long way towards selling your idea.
3. Focus on the core competencies of your company, and build your strategy around them.
- Companies like Fair Trade have made CSR their business model. It’s the center of Timberland’s brand image. When it comes to you, try making it unique to the niche your business fills.
- Reviewing case studies can be inspirational, and there’s some great ones out there: Unilever’s initiatives are unique to its market and are highly successful. Also worth looking at are Coca-Cola, Canon, Apple, and Wal-Mart. These companies have both good and bad examples of how to deal with CSR.
4. Your managers will be your best source of insight.
- They know the pulse of your organization and of the people you can involve.
5. Your employees can be your greatest asset.
- You can involve individuals at any level in your company. Leading them with conviction is up to you.
— Jeremiah Berlinski
Jeremiah Berlinski is a support technician at SalesPad.