The start of a New Year is often a time of personal reflection. However it’s also an ideal opportunity to look past oneself and consider how, as business owners, managers and CEOs, we can drive positive change in the businesses we own and work within. Taking and leading the initiative to commit to philanthropic goals is one significant way of achieving this. Here are five CSR considerations for businesses in 2016. 1. Develop a CSR strategy
You wouldn’t start a business without a business plan, so why not take an intelligent and long-term view of your company’s CSR by developing a strategy? This is termed the Ask Yourself phase of the Benojo Index and involves evaluating your company culture and resources before you embark on a CSR project.
Speaking recently on the Corporate Spend Podcast Series on the subject of social enterprise and values-based business thought leadership, Benojo founder Martyn Ryan said that CSR strategy is a “conversation that needs to be had by businesses of all sizes because it can have such a huge impact on the bottom line,” noting that 55 per cent of global consumers are willing to pay extra for a product or service from a company committed to a positive social impact. The figure was 64 per cent for consumers residing in the Asia Pacific region
2. Who, what, where & when?
Identifying and understanding who to give to, how your company should give and what kind of donations should be made in a manner that is considered, focused and well executed will ensure your CSR strategy has maximum impact. Martyn identifies Making it Matter as the part of the process in which companies choose a cause that aligns with their company culture or brand offering. Sharing a common denominator essentially keeps causes and corporates on the same page, working towards the same objectives and goals.
3. The right type of giving for you
The evaluation of your company culture and offerings should yield results about the time allowances your company can dedicate to CSR initiatives. An examination of these findings will set you on the right path towards the type of giving you can afford. For example, ICAP Australia identified and implemented volunteering opportunities for staff throughout the year, offering volunteering on top of the monetary donations from their annual ICAP Charity Day. Knowing the type of giving that your employees want to embark upon will ensure you strategy has maximum impact.
4. Engage your staff
According to the Nielsen 2014 ‘Doing well by doing good’ survey, 67 per cent of people around the world would prefer to work for a socially responsible company. A business with a sincere approach to CSR is not only likely to attract and retain staff but have staff that are happier and more productive. Work with your staff to identify causes they care about and the ways in which they would like to give. This collaboration during the Launch & Lift phase of your CSR strategy will ensure you choose the right cause to be involved with, making it easier to make CSR an ongoing part of your workplace culture, not a one-off annual activity.
5. Invest in efficiency
The days of paperwork trails and CSR campaigns that are timely and expensive to implement can be behind you with some of the new technologies now available. Platforms, such as Benojo, allow businesses to not only connect with charities but also make the implementation of campaigns easy to track, share, measure and review. Embracing these types of technologies will result in more sophisticated insights and success with future CSR campaigns.
Martyn believes that people are motivated by seeing other people take action and by positive outcomes. Sharing the successes of your CSR campaigns in the Grow & Tell phase of the strategy creates a narrative around giving that attracts causes and corporate stakeholders.
What other considerations do you think are important to businesses looking to introduce, develop or refine their CSR programs?
Want to know more about implementing an effective CSR strategy for your business?
Take the Benojo Social Impact Index for Business to learn more.