Corporate Responsibility Boosts Your Business (and it’s just the right thing to do)

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We tend to think of corporate service as a “nice to have” in our organizations, a “feel good” thing for company morale that makes for a nice day out of the office with teammates. But, did you know it’s now one of the most essential components of boosting your brand awareness, recruitment, and employee retention? It’s true. Corporate responsibility is something you just cannot afford to ignore.

There is a growing interest in companies that make corporate social responsibility (CSR) part of their business platforms. This interest is coming from the community, customers, employees, and job seekers alike. Here’s how it all stacks up:

Again, you cannot afford to skip out on a CSR. But, where do you begin? Here are our top 5 tips for getting a corporate service project off the ground:

  1. Determine your purpose.What propels you to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself? Where do you want to make a difference? Defining what drives you equips you to then find an area of the community you feel passionate about getting involved with.
  2. Build relationships within your community.

    Look at your community to see what’s important. Are the schools struggling financially? Does the animal shelter need donations? How can you help the people literally right outside your door?Restaurants that host community nights, where a portion of the day’s (or a few hours’) proceeds are donated to a cause, provide a great example of relationship building. Sure, the restaurants benefit from increased business nights that are otherwise slow, but the connections they make with customers are what boost its brand image and bring people back again and again.
  3. Get your employees on board.

    Giving employees an avenue to give back is important to morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team. When your employees love what they’re doing, they do a better job, plain and simple.
    Offer employees an opportunity to volunteer during work hours or participate in get-togethers after work, which is more fulfilling than just meeting for drinks or enjoying a sweet treat in the conference room. Give them also a chance to lead the volunteer effort. It can be a great way to provide leadership opportunities and experience to junior staff members.
  4. Create a custom volunteer plan.Evaluate your business and employee strengths and select volunteer activities that draw upon those strengths.

    Do you own a law firm? You could volunteer to help a nonprofit set up its corporate/legal structure or provide pro-bono work to its clients in need of legal advice. Likewise, if you own a catering company, consider catering a lunch for your local fire department to show your appreciation for your local first responders. This may open the door to future catering opportunities, an incremental way to increase revenue.

    Just decide how much time your employees can volunteer through the business on an annual basis, taking into account your operation demands.

  5. Don’t be afraid to share the news.

    Once you’ve implemented your volunteer strategy, let current and prospective customers know what you’re doing by including this information on your website. Assign a dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your employees have spent giving back so it’s easy for customers to understand how much your company gives to the community.

CSR is an integral part of your growth plan, so invest in the time to make it great. The benefits are numerous, and you may just experience some you didn’t expect. We sure did…

A quick BGW fun fact: On an NCACPA Day of Service working at the Habitat ReStore back in 2013, we worked side-by-side with a “kid” we just fell in love with. We invited him to lunch after the event and then to our office in Charlotte several days later. There, we hired him on the spot, and he’s been with us ever since. I guess not surprisingly, one of Chris’ specialties is nonprofit accounting.

 

 

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