Corporate social responsibility, also known as CSR, helps keep organizations socially liable
Through this practice, companies can boost their brand image while giving back to society. Selecting a mission that aligns with what your company stands for can bring your employees closer, boost spirits, and ultimately create a more positive work environment. We turned to business professionals to get advice on how to correctly improve corporate social responsibility and this is what they said:
- Begin with a Code of Ethics
Andrew Taylor, Director of Net Lawman shares the importance of getting started with a code of ethics:
“Adopt a code of ethics to begin. As with any business plan, you've got to understand your focus and objectives if you're going to have any chance at achieving them.
“So, understand where your boundaries are as a company, what your focus is, and where you want the future to go. Work on achieving goals and then creating steps (with timeframes) to achieve them in addition to your current code of ethics”.
- Align Mission with Core Values
Dr. Ivan Zak, CEO of Veterinary Integration Solutions mentions how your social mission should be aligned with your business and core values:
“A solid corporate social responsibility strategy starts from establishing a social mission that should be aligned with the organization’s values and ideally be connected with its core business. For example, a petrol company can work towards reducing carbon footprints, a soft drink producer can promote recycling as part of their CSR program, and so on. Our company works in the veterinary industry and our CSR efforts are focused on burnout prevention because it’s a severe problem in our profession. Support for the mental wellbeing of employees is embedded into the business methodology we help our clients implement so that they can eliminate the burnout triggers in a very targeted manner.”
Sam Lowy, CEO of Life Insurance Star, believes that corporate social responsibility should come from those in higher levels of management:
“Implementing proper social responsibility should come from top management. If you’re a C-level executive or a high-level manager, engage with your employees and subordinates. Orient them properly and don’t leave anyone in the dark. Then, as someone from the company’s top-level, you must implement these practices yourself. If they see you practicing what you preach, following suit wouldn’t be difficult.”
While it’s important that top management understands social responsibility, it’s great to hold all employees accountable in order to live out the company’s mission.
Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-Founder and COO of Chargebacks911 discusses the importance of working as a team when it comes to implementing CSR:
“My advice to improve corporate social responsibility is to involve the whole company and allow everyone the chance to participate in the decision-making process. For example, we are committed to making weekly donations to charity organizations specifically chosen by team members.
“We’ve found that this is a great way to give back to the community and provide employees with a greater sense of purpose and responsibility. We have many people who are passionate about specific causes and their excitement positively impacts the rest of the team and encourages us all to take an active stance on bringing good wherever we can.”
Gary Covert, Founder of Gary Covert Consulting, also discusses strength in numbers. He believes that everyone should come together to find what works best and find solutions for what doesn’t:
“For almost any company today, CSR is a strategic challenge. Luckily, it is a challenge that is particularly well-suited to the processes and tools used for driving innovation. Take that challenge to your larger organization and get their suggestions. Get leadership to articulate the challenge. Engage people in suggestions to address. Work to find the best solutions and implement them. Using the power of internal, crowd-sourced innovation to drive change can result in pragmatic approaches with buy-in already preloaded. It is usually a lot better than ideas created in a boardroom.”
- Work with Those Who Understand
Shaun Price, Head of Customer Acquisition at MitoQ, shares his insights on how everyone you work with should be committed to the same mission, even your suppliers:
“Improve your corporate responsibility by ensuring that your suppliers are committed to the same social improvements that your company has dedicated itself to. If you’re determined to pay your employees a living wage, offer fair pricing, or recruit more BIPOC employees for management, make sure that the businesses you work with are also meeting these expectations of ethical business practices. Do extra research into their past conduct as well to ensure that their business is historically ethical, and directly communicate your expectations with them from the beginning.”
Shel Horowitz from Going Beyond Sustainability explains that making a profit from CSR is a great way to make it sustainable:
“When CSR results in profit and revenue, it becomes safe from being cut in tough times. As the green/social entrepreneurship profitability consultant at Going Beyond Sustainability, I've found it well worth the thinking and effort to develop and market profitable products/services that turn hunger/poverty into abundance, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. It can become part of the corporate identity and a tremendous tool for building loyalty among employees, customers, suppliers, etc.”
On a different note, Malte Scholz, CEO and Co-Founder of Airfocus believes that you don’t need to have a large budget to be socially responsible:
“One of the most important preparatory steps is a thorough analysis of the existing resources and best ways a company can give back. There is a myth that you need a huge budget to be socially responsible. Quite the contrary, there are many steps companies can take to make sure they are protecting the environment or supporting vulnerable groups in the community. The best approach is to start with existing resources and figure out the course of action accordingly. Each of the strategies needs to have a long-term plan that ensures that a company will be consistent in the CSR activities.”
Corporate social responsibility looks different from company to company. Workplaces are responsible for their own mission, whether that includes volunteer work, philanthropy, or any other way they choose to give back. If you feel as though your company is not meeting its corporate social responsibility needs, our whistleblowing software allows you to make a complaint anonymously. Contact us at WhistleBlower Security to learn more.