Making CSR a part of every business's strategic planning makes good sense
Over the past couple of years we have worked closely with clients on CSR, and what became very clear to us fairly early in the process is that this is something EVERY business should be paying attention to NOW. And there are at least 10 very good reasons why.
- CSR is simply the right thing to do. All businesses are part of any number of interconnected communities and have a shared responsibility with everyone else for the wellbeing of that community.
- CSR helps all businesses to welcome and embrace change. By engaging fully and proactively businesses will be better placed to adapt and react to changes in their own business environment.
- Successful CSR projects can help benefit personnel within a business - at the very least it gives all members of staff reasons to engage with each on a regular basis in an atmosphere of success.
- CSR helps with building relationships internally and externally; developing trust, relationships, the sharing of learnings and real expertise as well as the unforeseen benefits that may result from intra-office, multiple stakeholder forums and initiatives.
- CSR can help businesses develop in new markets. Increasingly, there is a need to maintain competitiveness in environments that explicitly demand investment in CSR projects and there can be real commercial advantage to be gained from meeting CSR related standards where valuable contracts are on offer.
- CSR offers real reputational advantages. Corporate reputation can be enhanced through the implementation and management of visible CSR projects. Positive reporting can enhance this further leading to preparation of the ground for the development of big bid strategies.
- CSR can be a help with Bid Strategies. Corporate reputations and brands are now being assessed externally by third parties and these reports are used by customers, investors, NGOs and others in assessing appropriateness of tendering companies for major bids.
- CSR can help influence Government Policy. In those business sectors where the threat of regulation (or less than helpful regulation in any case) is real, CSR projects and strategies can be set towards improving relations with these bodies.
- CSR can improve employee relations and recruitment. It has been remarked upon by a number of clients and stakeholders that those businesses with proper CSR programmes hold some very real attraction for graduates looking for jobs. CSR projects offer employees at all levels the opportunity for CPD and to engage effectively with their community and industry.
- CSR is increasingly accepted and seen as a legal responsibility. Put bluntly, this is a serious part of doing business effectively in the 21st century world.
All of these reasons point to CSR as an increasingly critical part of doing business well and it has to be an integral part of any company's strategic planning.