Many companies implement a CSR strategy with the aim of supporting the community. But there are reasons to commit to an ongoing program of giving beyond the positive social impact a good CSR strategy generates. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, Towers Watson, companies with strong CSR programs report:
- 43% higher reputation
- 43% higher process efficiency
- 38% higher employee loyalty
These are strong figures. They show that having a purposefully implemented CSR strategy can help you build brand recognition as a contemporary, sustainable business that will appeal to customers and investors alike.
So why does having a prominent CSR strategy make such a difference?
1. Improved brand image
Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. However, simply donating to a charity day 'here and there' isn't enough, consumers want to see that your company is committed to the cause.
Strategic partnerships with charities and causes are key for building prosperous and mutually beneficial giving programs, while simultaneously building trust with your consumers.
For example, life insurance company New York Life Foundation fund childhood bereavement causes. Through a dedicated area of their website, they provide financial security to families after the death of a parent and information on bereavement service providers, as well as emotional support services to the children and families left behind. Since 2008 they have invested more than $22 million in this sector.
Smaller companies without the means to set up their own foundation can look at offering services pro bono or partnering with already established charitable organisations in their local community.
2. Improved ROI
Along with attracting a socially engaged customer base, CSR is key to growing your business through the acquisition of talent. A 2011 PwC survey found 56 per cent of graduates would leave if their employer didn’t have a CSR program. In addition to attracting the right kind of talent, a strategic CSR program allows you to retain it.
IBM is no stranger to this concept. The global technology and innovation company, known for its standout graduate program, is renowned for its involvement in the development green technology and next-gen early education. According to an IBM spokesperson, the company invested $180 million in corporate citizenship globally during 2012, producing three times as much in return.
On the other end of the scale, other forms of giving like fundraising drives and community appeals can be integrated into local marketing activities as a way of 'cutting through the noise' and differentiating your business from the competition.
3. Employee engagement
Leadership coach Homaira Kabir states that “it is the knowledge that they are making a difference that makes employees work hard to overcome challenges and go the extra mile in their efforts to boost productivity.” As purpose led employees are 30% more likely to be high performers, providing your staff with the opportunity to give is essential to their engagement and productivity.
Smartgroup Corporation worked with Benojo to create a structured giving program for their 350+ staff. Naming the program “Do Good," it incorporates causes identified as important by employees, meaning that engagement rates are higher than that of CSR programs determined by a top-down approach.
Contact us to find out how Benojo can help your business grow.