I would bet that your New Year’s resolution included having a positive impact on the world around you. You may have resolved to volunteer more, to mentor a young person, or simply to make greener choices as you move through your day.
With the introduction of the Benefit Corporation status in Indiana and the increasing number of for-profit companies who are becoming Certified B Corps, we’re seeing that companies are committing to do the same.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been an important part of many companies’ cultures since it began in the 1950s. Since then, companies have tried to measure whether CSR was a “feel good” idea or if it truly impacted their business. In working with local, regional, and national firms like Bohlsen Group, we’ve found a number of ways a CSR mindset positively impacts business.
Attract and Retain Top Talent.
Companies that engage in CSR programs see an increase in both talent acquisition as well as employee satisfaction and engagement. CSR is the second most significant factor in determining employee engagement, including improved employee moral, job satisfaction and a reduction in costly staff turnover, according to BCorporation.net.
Positive Financial Performance.
The combination of increased efficiencies, cost reduction, increased customer cultivation, and improved sales has translated into successful financial performance proving that CSR programs add to the bottom line.
Access to Capital.
Companies are generating new investment opportunities by leveraging the added value achieved through official CSR strategies. Fund managers and finance institutions recognize the stability brought when a firm has an integrated business and social mission. As companies translate their CSR plans into a formal capacity through benefits legislation or B Corp certification, investors are taking note.
Despite the proliferation of negative news in the media, an appetite does exist for stories about authentic ways that companies and their employees are doing good in the world. Cause marketing efforts can generate publicity opportunities for businesses that would not otherwise exist in their routine advertising of products and services.
Increased Sales and Customer Loyalty.
Studies show that over 50% of consumers worldwide care about the company, not just the products they are buying. Amy Fenton, Neilson’s global leader of public development and sustainability says that “consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions.” CSR programs and added transparency increase a company’s reputation and legitimacy, which positively affects customer cultivation and sales. (Camilleri, 2014)
These are just four very tangible advantages that companies see as they move forward in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, not to mention the countless intangibles like quality of life, job satisfaction, and knowing that you helped inspire other companies to “up their game,” so to speak.
Over time, Corporate Social Responsibility has evolved from a concept to actionable strategies to programs that have helped propel business and society to mutually beneficial relationships.
I’d love to hear how CSR is taking shape within your organization and the benefits you see from your programs. Tweet at me or email me at Kathy@pedrottihays.com.
For the full “Why Corporate Social Responsibility Matters” report or to learn how Kathy and her team impacts corporate and nonprofit clients, visit PedrottiHays.com.
Kathy consults with Bohlsen Group and its clients on matters of social enterprise and partnered with Bohlsen Group in 2015 to help it become the only Certified B Corporation in Indiana.