Friday, November 5, 2010

Why Social Responsibility is Important To Your Business:

Good Things Do Happen to Good People!

By: Dianne Taylor

Many business owners and managers see corporate social responsibility (CSR) as something that’s ‘nice to do’ but not really connected to growing the business and profits. Just the other day I had an experience that shows how wrong this is….

I took part in a training exercise where half the class pretended to be ‘employers’. The other half of the class pretended to be ‘potential employees.’ We (the ‘employers’) had to find a way to attract the ‘employees’ to come and work for us.

Sounds simple? Well I thought so. I was an employer offering flexible working hours, a great salary and career development. Yet my new recruits were undecided. But then I spoke about our corporate social responsibility program and they were suddenly a whole lot more enthusiastic. I signed them up.

Okay, so it was only a game. But it is a great example of how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can make all the difference to your competitive position. Initiatives such as pro bono work, philanthropy, support for community-building initiatives and environmental awareness can add significant value to your company, and if the program is well designed the benefits far outweigh the costs.

An easy way for your company to build its brand, reputation and public profile

Being socially responsible creates goodwill and a positive image for your brand. Trust and a good reputation are some of your company’s most valuable assets. In fact, without these, you wouldn’t even have a business. You can nurture these important assets by being socially responsible.

It is however, crucial that you devise the right socially responsible program for your business. When used properly, it will open up a myriad of new relationships and opportunities. Not only will your success grow, but so will your company’s culture. It will become a culture which you, your staff and the wider community genuinely believe in.

Corporate Social Responsibility attracts and retains staff

Did you know that socially responsible companies report increased employee commitment, performance and job satisfaction?

Yes, it is in us all to want to do ‘good’ (and perhaps be recognised for it). Our lives become meaningful when we realise our work has made a positive difference in some way. It makes all our striving worth it. In fact, a 2003 Stanford University study found MBA graduates would sacrifice an average $US13700 cut in their salary to work for a socially responsible company.

By attracting, retaining and engaging staff, ‘doing good’ for others reduces your recruitment costs and improves work productivity. It’s just plain good all round!

Customers are attracted to socially responsible companies

Branding your business as ‘socially responsible’ differentiates you from your competitors. The Body Shop and Westpac are companies who have used this to their advantage. Developing innovative products that are environmentally or socially responsible adds value and gives people a good reason to buy from you.

Corporate Social Responsibility attracts investors

Investors and financiers are attracted to companies who are socially responsible. These decision-makers know this reflects good management and a positive reputation. Don’t underestimate this influence; it can be just as important as your company’s financial performance. In fact, it may be the deciding factor in choosing to support your company.

Corporate Social Responsibility encourages professional (and personal) growth

Your staff can develop their leadership and project management skills through a well-designed corporate social responsibility program. This may be as simple as team building exercises, encouraging your employees to form relationships with people they would not normally meet (like disadvantaged groups).

Corporate Social Responsibility helps to cut your business costs

Environmental initiatives such as recycling and conserving energy increase in-house efficiency and cut costs. Introducing a corporate social responsibility program gives you a good reason to examine and improve on your spending!

Two important tips for you

Before you rush into your own corporate social responsibility program remember:

  • You must implement your program strategically. Just giving a donation is not enough. The best corporate social responsibility programs are based on a two-way relationship with you and each of the organisations you are involved with. This allows both parties to be challenged and grow together.

  • Your corporate social responsibility commitments should be in line with the values of your company, customers and staff. Most importantly, they must be based on a genuine concern for people and the community. You do not want the program to back-fire; making you seem hypocritical. A poor strategy will cause people to become cynical and distrustful of your company.

But all in all, corporate social responsibility makes financial sense, adds meaning to your work and makes everyone feel good!

So what should you do next?

It is a highly competitive world out there. If you want people to buy from you, work for you and invest in you – look seriously at corporate social responsibility.

To find out how your company can grow from a corporate social responsibility program, contact Dianne Taylor at Sirius Business on

FREE Corporate Social Responsibility advice for Anderson Gray readers

Dianne is currently offering free advice on how to implement an effective corporate social responsibility program. This advice includes a list of 10 Simple Corporate Social Responsibility Actions for your business.
About the Author
With over 25 years as the co-owner of a successful engineering business employing 30 staff, combined with a background in leadership development and education, Dianne has a wealth of experience to draw upon. Dianne’s practical experience is supported by qualifications in coaching, training, human resource management and business.

As a business management and leadership coach, consultant, speaker and trainer, Dianne is passionate about helping people and organisations discover and realise their potential. She believes that life is too short not to enjoy what you do and she helps her clients to discover their unique purpose, strengths and passion and build a successful and satisfying life around them.

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Article Source: - Why Social Responsibility is Important to Your Business – Good Things Do Happen to Good People!


Anonymous said...

really good! congrats

Unknown said...

Great Post! We should understand thing properly that Indian brands are seeking to enter international markets at an increasing rate and brand management consultancy Indiais uniquely positioned to help them grow into global brands.

Unknown said...

Its so nice how CSR activities has been made mandatory, its a very good step on part of the Government. I was looking for a few articles on CSR activities in India and I came across yours inspiring read.

Unknown said...

Interesting Blog for Team Buildining Training

Unknown said...

Corporate Trainer in delhi

Anonymous said...

I have had to post my response in to parts. AN 2536802

Hi Dianne,
Your blog title reads ‘Good Things Do Happen to Good People!’
Social responsibility is important to organisations, however, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand states that ‘Shareholders wish to maximise their own economic benefit’ (2014). Overall this is the foremost goal that all organisations try to achieve above all else that entails with operating an organisation, this disagrees with your view that ‘Good things do happen to good people’ I do on the other hand agree with you that a commitment to wider corporate social responsibility is imperative in order to achieve financial success.
Friedman (2005) says that most businessmen, claim to be socially responsible and have little focus on profit, but his research has found that their suggestion of social responsibility importance to them lacks the tendency to go beyond the rules and regulations they need to follow when in business (pg. 249), therefore the opportunities you speak of that comes with increasing social responsibilities may not be present themselves in cases such as these.
Corporate social responsibility is associated with an entities name, however, it is actually the people behind the organisation that need to be held accountable for the actions of the organisations goods and/or services delivery, an example of this is a manager of a corporate store of NZ Post/Kiwibank. An organisation needs to hire a manager that is capable of ensuring the needs of the Stakeholders are met in order to meet profit targets, stakeholders being: consumers, the wider community, and the government (The Open polytechnic of New Zealand, 2014).
It appears to me that you hold a view of Virtue ethics, if the business shows a genuine social responsibility to the stakeholders then the business will benefit from the results of these newly formed relationships and your view suggest that there is evidence of supporting R. Edward Freeman’s Stakeholder theory. This theory suggest that the organisation should not have total focus on maximising profit and it would also be ethically correct for organisations consider the interest of stakeholders for the benefit of stakeholders ‘Your corporate social responsibility commitments should be in line with the values of your company, customers and staff. Most importantly, they must be based on a genuine concern for people and the community‘. I have a different stance which brings us to the discussion of what is ethically acceptable; increase profits for the shareholders or be socially responsible to stakeholders? This question is essentially an open answer as it depends on the person who has been allocated the responsibility to make the decisions on behalf of the organisation to not only be socially responsible at standards set by government and beyond or to fulfil the contract they signed with the business owner or shareholders stating the job description they have devised for the position. Utilitarianism also comes into play with this situation, it suggest that social responsibility should be considered to be the best possible action as it provides the maximum good and the shareholders are only a small minority that can have their profit, to a certain degree, sacrificed.

Aira Bongco said...

This is because it cannot be denied that it feels way better to work for something that is way bigger than yourself. It gives your existence some meaning than just merely having a job to make some money.

London management Centre said...

This point 'Being socially responsible creates goodwill and a positive image for your brand.' is huge. Many companies like Tescos are doing community projects in their local areas to increase social reputation.
When a brand gets a bad reputation it's very hard to come back from it without rebranding, in this process it will tarnish the name and reduce profits.

Ethics are a huge part of a growing company because the relationships and such you form from these will help you in the long run.