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5 factors to keep in mind while designing a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy for your business

A business that only cares about making money is said to be of poor quality. Corporate Social Responsibility services (CSR) were first introduced into corporate language seven decades ago by economist Howard Bowen.And when it comes to CSR, this classic quote of Henry Ford still holds today, “While modern businesses are focused on the broader aspirations of their employees and their communities, performance measurements are inherently key to their decisions.” According to some major CSR consulting companies, strategy entails more than just being good-intentioned and doing honest work. Take the general direction of your marketing strategy, audit your public image for message consistency, and determine how it will continue to mesh with your overall business identity by taking industry norms into account.

Here are five questions about your CSR strategy that can help you ensure that you are on the right track.

Do your strategies align with business competency?.

A successful CSR strategy involves both commercial and social motivation. Pursuing a CSR venture outside of your company's core competencies often leads to faulty execution and underwhelming response. For example, a textile company would perform better if it focused on running a campaign for the benefit of rural weavers. Levi's Water-Less campaign has significantly reduced water use in its denim production process, instantly amounting to billions of liters. Framing your CSR goals around where you can actively participate will make your business more fruitful.

Would your strategies resonate with customers?.

A CSR strategy could go a long way in promoting a company's reputation. Such initiatives need to receive significant consumer attention to make a positive brand recall. Consumers tend to prefer companies with whom they share the same values and social causes. In 2017, a study revealed that 87% of consumers decide on firms that echo their viewpoints while 78% of consumers refuse products from businesses that run counter to their sense of unity. Therefore, Corporate Social Responsibility Consulting would do well to understand customer behaviors and preferences. For example, your customers are more likely to be members of the millennial generation, who are very socially conscious. Your CSR initiative can have better engagement with your customer by using volunteerism and donation drives. Increased customer engagement is likely to lead to higher visibility for your brand by making it visible in social circles.

Can it be One of your verticals?.

An organization should build its CSR strategy to match up with its verticals in a way that does not have a monetary objective, making this strategy work accordingly with the business. In other words, integrating CSR into your business to be executed the same way as your day-to-day operations allows you to acquire success. With many successful organizations having well-drilled processes, strongly replicating them when implementing CSR means you have a much better chance of success. Creating measurable ROI for SFDC initiatives and successfully justifying these initiatives to top leaders and investors is another plus point.

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Will it be engaging for the employees?.

Compensation and work-life balance are important for employees, but so is the opportunity to impact social and environmental issues. If your Community Service initiative can accommodate employee participation, it will be beneficial in that productivity will increase and the company's cause becomes more effective. In addition, by increasing employee autonomy, the company's attrition rate improves. This happens along with the successful implementation of CSR initiatives like increased engagement among employees, which use their free time to advance its mission.

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Do your strategies consider future probabilities?.

Your CSR consulting team should have measurable objectives with a defined path to achieve them. You may want to focus on specific goals like building Sustainable partnerships or innovation through your sustainability efforts. For example, a sustainable activity promoting traditional artisanal communities can open up a new sourcing partnership for a home décor company while ensuring sustainability. Similarly, an oil and gas company pursuing sustainable initiatives can drive innovation in its product line.