Corporate social responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate conscience, is not a call to save the world. It is merely a way for companies to benefit society while also benefiting themselves. CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Companies should embrace corporate social responsibility as a way to excel the following business practices.
1. Customer engagement
Half of the point of CSR is to benefit the company and improve its reputation. Basically, you want people to know about it. Using CSR can help you to engage with your customers in different and new ways. It can be easier to strike up conversations with your customers since the message is about something “good”.
2. Employee engagement
Along the lines of customer engagement, it’s important and beneficial that your employees know what’s going on within the organization. You are missing an opportunity if you keep your business’ CSR in the dark. Employees will gain a sense of pride and happiness towards the company if they are aware something good is going on.
3. Brand differentiation
Brand differentiation used to be the main reason why companies would participate in CSR. Now that CSR has become more common, using it for brand differentiation has become more difficult. For example, Coke and Pepsi are regularly looking for ways to steal market share from each other. Yet they are both participating in similar approaches to CSR. In the end, it is harder to differentiate your brand using CSR these days but this is still seen as a potential benefit.
4. Long-term plans
CSR is a company’s way of looking into the future. It’s an effort to look into the company’s interest and sustainability. CSR initiatives help organizations step back and forget about next quarter for a minute to focus on ten years from now.
5. Cutting costs
Who doesn’t like this added benefit? If you can cut costs and do some good, why wouldn’t you? Companies can use less packaging or less energy, for example, and -boom- you have sustainability and CSR while saving some dollars.
This is probably one of the biggest (and most obvious) benefits to CSR. Innovation is a great benefit to both a company and to society. A company will make plans and research to development some type of sustainability and end up with a product that can truly change the world for the better. For example, Unilever was able to innovate new products like conditioner for hair that uses less water. Things like this may have not come to be without the idea of sustainability and CSR.
So, there you have it, CSR brings a whole bunch of benefits to your company and to the rest of society. You can do some good in the world while possibly cutting costs and making your company look absolutely fantastic.