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How Your Small Business Can Embrace CSR in 2019 and Why It Matters

by | Jan 17, 2019 | Business

These days, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the keys to making businesses thrive. It doesn’t matter whether your company is big, medium or small. You should engage in CSR and use it to your advantage and we’re about to tell you why being responsible is so important.

Your long-term success doesn’t depend on money

Business success used to be all about the money, now it’s no longer the case. The rise of conscious consumers is changing the way we do business in America. These days, 3 in 5 customers expect businesses to become the actors of change by taking the lead on social and environmental issues. What’s more is that 87% of customers base their buying decisions on whether the company supported an issue they care about. In other words, customers expect businesses to be responsible and businesses are attempting to meet consumer needs by embracing the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). This business approach focuses on the 3 Ps that are used to measure corporate social responsibility – Profit, People and Planet. We will discuss TBL in greater detail in one of the sections below.

Investors like responsible companies

Every year, Harvard Business Review (HBR) selects the World’s Best-Performing CEOs.  In 2018, the top honor was awarded to Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex a Spanish clothing multinational. In a world where CSR wouldn’t have mattered, he would have been placed 29th on that list. The fact that Inditex was strong on responsibility propelled Pablo Isla to the top. HBR measured business responsibility because it’s important not only to consumers but also to some of its most loyal readers – the investors. 

Responsibility defines your employer image 

3 in 4 millennials take CSR into serious consideration when deciding where to work. In fact, they consider that CSR is so important that they’re willing to take a pay cut to be able to work for a responsible company. Millennials already make up the largest generation in the American labor force. This means that your future will depend on keeping millennial workers happy – and trust us, it’d be worth it! Employees that get a sense of working for a higher purpose are more productive, more loyal and more engaged.

What we told you thus far means that CSR keeps customers, investors, and employees happy.  The question you should be asking yourself is – how do you become a responsible business?

Tips for becoming a responsible business

Earlier we spoke of the Triple Bottom Line that measures business performance using the 3Ps – Profit, People and Planet.  This concept essentially means that businesses are expected to care about their employees, their communities and the social issues that these face. At the same time, responsible companies are expected to adopt environmentally conscious business operations.

If you want to embrace responsibility – start by reviewing your business operations. Are your employees happy? Do they like your office and are they OK with your business hours? Do you offer flexible working hours, equal pay, family leave and maternity benefits? Where do you stand on inclusion and diversity? Do you support your local community by donating or doing volunteer work?  These are some of the questions that could help you to get a better idea of where you stand and what you can improve.

 

Evaluate the environmental imprint of your business

Encourage employees to walk to work or take public transport to work, at least once or twice per month. Create a recycling culture. Encourage energy-saving practices and stop using plastic bags, plastic cups or any wasteful product packaging.

Embrace workplace volunteering

Your employees would love to do good at work. Consider creating a company-wide volunteer program or dedicating one day (or a certain amount of work hours) per month to charity. Don’t forget about volunteering at nonprofit events! Not only are these kinds of outings excellent for team-building, but they also happen to provide you with great marketing opportunities! Customers and the media love seeing responsible companies and your participation will surely generate some buzz. Keep in mind that charity work also expands your network of community connections. First of all, you get an opportunity to meet like-minded businesses, who could become your potential partners. Secondly, you can meet representatives of local authorities.

A helpful way to make a difference

While some businesses donate money, others prefer to contribute a donation in kind. One of the important motivators, why such donations are, popular is the fact that donations in kind usually are tax-deductible. Thus, sometimes, businesses get to return a large share of their production cost. But, unfortunately, while businesses donate in good heart, nonprofits often struggle to sell the things they receive as donations in kind.

Our team at MyWay2Help decided to step in and help nonprofits and caring businesses find the optimal solution to use their passion for the greater good. Our platform can help business growth by raising awareness about the company and its charitable commitments in a way which can become a great alternative to traditional advertising.

Businesses can use MyWay2Help to list items, services, and experiences for Auction. Auctions are great for “getting the word out” about your latest products and capturing the attention of new customers with just a tad of competitiveness. Basically, everyone wins – you, your business, the nonprofits that you love and the people that want to express their support by buying from you.

Lead responsibly!

Corporate Social Responsibility helps strengthen company culture, improve your brand image and promote your business – all of it without putting a major strain on your resources.  

It improves your employer reputation, earns respect from your partners, peaks interest of investors and makes your customers happy.

We encourage you to embrace responsibility, showcase your caring spirit and help nonprofits close to your heart!  

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