What Companies Really Get Out of Being Socially Responsible
These findings clearly show how educated consumers are and that employees no longer want to confine volunteering and charitable giving to their personal lives. Even more, when organizations embrace that, there’s a lot of profitability to be gained.
Let’s dive a little deeper…
Why are your target markets so invested in CSR?
First and foremost, people enjoy helping each other. One study found that of the people who volunteer, 94% say it improves their mood, 96% say it enriches their lives and 78% say it lowers stress levels. Another study found that 53% of workers and 72% of students who were just entering the workforce felt that a job where they make an impact was important to their happiness. Some would even take a pay cut for it.
Beyond the health benefits and satisfaction of knowing they touched causes important to them, they have the chance of developing new and existing relationships while strengthening their skills. Events that bring departments or teams together have been found to help collaboration and connectivity with colleagues. Office friendships are important as they increase morale and have even been found to increase the connection to the company as a whole.
Tack on pro bono work geared to employee skillsets and you have an engaging activity that helps your workers cultivate their work experience. This type of work can facilitate better discussion around career development, which is what 82% of employees want from managers.
What’s in it for companies?
A lot of the above paints a pretty clear picture of how well-rounded CSR programs can benefit a company. If the team-building, happiness-inducing, skill-developing and customer-pleasing isn’t enough, a corporate social responsibility plan can pass on some real ROI.
All things considered, it’s been estimated that a lost employee can cost 6 to 9 months of that employee’s salary on average. One study found that CSR programs can reduce turnover by up to 50% for large, publicly traded companies. Just to show the possible ROI, IBM attributes a $600 million return on their $200 million CSR program investment since its 2008 creation.
Learn More About Driving Business Growth with CSR
How does a company get started?
Your organization might have $200 million to put toward a CSR program, but there’s a larger chance that it doesn’t. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a huge budget or lots of company time to create a socially responsible plan for your employees and, in turn, customers.
Starting Small Hold a fundraiser for a local charity or take part in a food drive. Make it a fun, company-wide project with office bulletins and share the end results. You could take a day to volunteer with your team at the local animal shelter or a nearby school. Just start!
A Little More Budget Some companies notice an uptick in participation when they grant time off for employees to spend on volunteering for a cause dear to them. If you would rather have a little more structure, consider participating in National Volunteer Week (April 10 - April 16) or International Volunteer Day (Dec. 5) with your company’s philanthropy.
Budget for The Long Term Though it takes more planning, creating and working through a foundation allows your company to better pinpoint the groups and causes that are supported. This might mean that your donations and volunteering efforts benefit a particular group of people within the community who can, in return, benefit your very own business. For instance, a fund that grants scholarships to students in STEM could mean developing relationships with future STEM talent.
Building and managing a successful giving program can lead to a great deal of long term benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to decide what structure will work best for your company. Check out our white paper, Strategic Corporate Philanthropy: A Guide to Success for a step-by-step guide to creating and executing a program that will work for your employees.