What is CSR?
We often hear the term CSR within the business world, but many people do not know what it actually means or how it can be good for our businesses and our staff?
So, to help explain, CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility, and it is about companies playing their responsible part in society and giving back to society. It encourages businesses to behave in an ethical manner and have a positive impact on society through ensuring sustainable growth.
Traditionally it was believed that CSR was something only large companies practiced, but today it is a business model which is practiced by both large and small companies. Companies of all sizes can now be held responsible for their social and environmental impact by their customers.
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Why is CSR important?
I believe all businesses need to implement CSR and add CSR strategies to their business plans because we all want a better future. But CSR is also good for businesses because whilst giving back, businesses can strengthen their relationships with stakeholders at every level. Customers, employees, suppliers, and investors will place more value on CSR initiatives which increases company performance while having a positive social impact.
Businesses who behave in an ethical manner and have a positive impact on society through ensuring sustainable growth can boost shareholders trust and increase long-term profits.
CSR at TheGivingMachine
TheGivingMachine believes in giving back to society. As a registered Charity, we do this as our mission and support thousands of good causes through our various platforms, Shop&Give, GivingLottery, DonateNow and GivingVouchers. We also mentor people and help them prepare to join or re-join the workforce and to reach their full potential. This is something we feel strongly about and find very rewarding.
Over the years that our Charity has been running, we have worked with a number of individuals and provided support and encouragement to them. When TheGivingMachine started, something which was very important to the founders was to make it an enjoyable working environment, supporting those that worked for them. One of the ways in which we achieve that, is by offering flexible working hours which then make the role very attractive to parents who have young children. They could then enjoy a fulfilling and worthwhile career, knowing that their parental duties were still their main priority. Having this healthy work/life balance is a great example of companies practising CSR. Sustainability is often linked with environmental sustainability but can also be associated with hiring and training.
Benefits of CSR
It is important for businesses to ensure their employees feel happy and valued, and CSR can play a role in this. CSR initiatives have a positive impact on employee wellbeing and motivation. Social responsibility empowers employees to take advantage of the corporate resources available to them, thus enabling them to continue and endorse their companies’ social responsibilities. This can boost employee morale and lead to greater productivity in the workforce, as well as helping employees build better quality and closer relationships with their colleagues.
CSR can make hiring quality staff more accessible as well as improving employee retention. It has been reported that companies who are committed to CSR have a 50% reduced staff turnover. Research carried out by Stanford University has found that 9 out of 10 MBA graduates in Europe and North America would prefer to work for an organisation committed to Corporate Social Responsibility, over an organisation which does not practice Corporate Social Responsibility.
An example of what businesses committed to CSR can do, is to allow their staff to volunteer at a Charity during working hours. This places social improvement before the short-term interests of business financial performance. Many staff find volunteering really fulfilling, but with busy lives they do not always have the time to engage in this. If a workplace encourages this behaviour, it demonstrates their humanity whilst doing their part for society, the environment, and their stakeholders. Feeling that you are part of a community rather than just a business helps create positive relationships.
Corporate social responsibility can take shape in many ways, with common examples including donating money to charities and implementing environmental schemes in the workplace.
Corporate social responsibility boosts shareholder trust and increases long-term profits in a sustainable and ethical way. This is achieved by taking ownership of corporate decisions and improving them.
Having worked in the Charity sector for many years, I love that my work is more than just about profit and the bottom line. I love the fact that I know I am making a difference to peoples’ lives every day. Working for a Charity allows you to look at the bigger picture and know that you are giving back to society. Giving back and doing good, feels good, and businesses can get involved with that. Our team is made up of people who all enjoy giving back and supporting their communities and as such we work really well together. We encourage each other in our professional lives as well as our personal lives and support each other.
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