Many organizations, in a bid to accomplish something meaningful as a business, have embraced corporate social responsibility (CSR) in recent years.
CSR is when a company runs ethically and sustainably, taking into consideration the community, environment, and society in which it operates.
Companies can demonstrate CSR in different ways, including championing for women’s rights, implementing environmentally safe processes, or employee volunteering.
Such activities project companies in a positive light and serve to improve their bottom line. Consumers are often drawn towards companies that consider wider social issues than those that just focus on their own profit.
This indicates that corporate social responsibility is as good for your own brand as it is for the community.
The Role Of Legal Counsel In Implementing CSR
A good deal of the work relating to CSR involves understanding how to comply with existing laws and regulations in the field of human rights, child labor, health and safety issues, environmental practices, cybersecurity, and so on.
Hence, an organization’s legal counsel, whether an in-house team or an outside general counsel, has a significant role in developing and implementing the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of any organization.
The general counsel’s ability to advise his or her client on moral and ethical matters positions him to guide the board and executive leaders on corporate social responsibility matters.
7 Benefits Of Embracing A Genuine Approach To Corporate Social Responsibility
Here are the 7 different ways your organizations can benefit by embracing CSR.
1. Increased Employee Satisfaction
Initiatives focused on solving societal and environmental concerns have a positive impact on the employees of the organization.
Studies have suggested that millennials are particularly principled and care more about purpose than a paycheck. CSR activities give them a reason to stay with the organization and work harder.
This is why companies that engage in CSR report greater appeal of the organization to job applicants, strong employee commitment to the organization, better job performance, and job satisfaction.
However, organizations should be careful to engage in CSR for the right reasons.
When employees believe that their organization’s CSR efforts are merely an attempt at greenwashing, they begin to perceive the organization in a negative light.
It was also found that the way employees feel about their companies’ CSR initiatives influences their attitude in the workplace.
This includes their trust in top management, pride in the organization, job satisfaction, and the meaning they ascribe to their work.
When employees view their organizations as embracing a genuine approach to CSR, they feel that their place of work is compatible with their values and goals.
This results in lesser employee turnover, and organizations can reap many benefits by retaining talent.
2. Improved Public Image
In this digital era, organizations that demonstrate corporate social responsibility are gaining exposure and admiration around the world. The brand’s reputation can benefit a great deal from doing good deeds in the community.
Consumers are looking for a certain set of characteristics when choosing a brand, and giving back to the community ranks pretty high up on the list of desirable traits.
Hence, if you could do more for your community, don’t hesitate to publicize your CSR initiatives. Something as simple as your staff volunteering an hour a week at a charity represents your brand in a positive light.
You’ll definitely earn a competitive advantage over others if consumers perceive your brand as committed to serving society.
3. Boosting Innovation
CSR implementation contributes to improved innovation. Such initiatives encourage the employees to try new things and get re-energized about their jobs. It also offers an enhanced ability to address change.
Through social involvement, employees feel empowered to start contributing to the bigger picture. They might come up with innovative ideas or develop new problem-solving abilities.
When the company demonstrates its values and passions through community giving, employees are encouraged – of their own volition- to develop new and better ways of doing their jobs.
4. Increased Customer Loyalty
Customers, for obvious reasons, tend to be loyal to the brand whose corporate values align with their personal ones.
In fact, evidence highlights that CSR can be more effective than advertising when it comes to attracting and retaining customers.
It is often seen that customers reward an organization for the indirect benefits provided to them through CSR activities. This effect is termed as “generalized reciprocity.”
Such emotional attachment to the brand helps the company generate enduring customer loyalty.
5. Cost Saving
Many simple changes towards sustainability, such as conserving energy or using less packaging, will decrease the organization’s production costs.
A systematic CSR approach will give rise to policies and activities that will enhance the organizations’ operational efficiencies. The cost savings will add up in time and improve the financial health of the business.
While investing in CSR might seem costly in the short term, research indicates that it offers a remarkable long-term economic advantage.
6. Positive Impact On The Community
In a corporate landscape that’s as tumultuous as ever, many organizations are missing the forest for the trees and remain unaware of the harmful effects of their business on the community.
Thankfully, CSR teaches businesses to act ethically and consider the social and environmental impacts of their business activities.
Empowering women and minorities, for instance, is a trend we see in many companies today. As such, CSR models, apart from increasing business and revenue, promote changes and progress in the community.
7. Promotes Professional And Personal Growth
CSR allows employees to engage in a company’s socially responsible activities. They may benefit from learning new skills that can be used in the workplace.
Employees have the opportunity to contribute to something they feel passionately about and learn something new that will enrich their own perspective.
By supporting CSR activities, organizations thus indirectly promote employee growth and development.
With all these benefits to reap, there is no reason why a company should not participate in CSR initiatives.
However, it’s helpful to work under the guidance of general counsel on matters related to legal and compliance issues. The general counsel job is a vital position within a company’s corporate governance fabric.
Hence, make sure to study the general counsel resume carefully to select a professional who can be a valuable addition to your organization.