CSR – What’s in it for the profit seekers?
“Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are essential ingredients for long term success” – Bill Ford
If the larger majority believed this statement to be true, then they would continue to contribute towards the public good and not private greed. This sense of Ethics which needs to be ingrained into the very fabric of our business management is somehow missing in action. In all fairness, the very attempt to empower Corporate Social Responsibility with a legal sanctity seems to be the only saving grace.
Effective CSR practices can help shape customer perceptions and engage with the community. Hence careful consideration is important while ensuring that the process is clearly defined and implemented. Notwithstanding the effort, a well thought out CSR plan can have a lasting impact on the longevity and success of any company.
Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility can be covered under various schemes. Getting involved with local communities, Volunteering, Green initiatives, Employee development, and other similar methodologies can be used in the implementation of CSR. These can be classified under different steps
1. Define the problem – A macro perspective can bring out the larger problems that need attention
2. Define the value proposition – How can the company help in this scenario?
3. Detail a plan – Clearly laid out plans act as a catalyst. Well begun they say is half done
4. Set up measurable goals – It must be more than a wish list
5. Promote, Implement and Evaluate – Executing the well thought out plan and evaluating its efficiency.
What are the Business Benefits?
There are so many concerns while implementing CSR, the main being how it will benefit the said company. That said, the benefits can be mostly long range and intangible in nature for the shorter period.
1. There is considerable improvement in the reputation of the company- Implementation of CSR can have a positive impact on its goodwill.
2. The company can initiate product differentiation as a proposed strategy as practising CSR becomes the unique selling proposition for the said company.
3. CSR helps in attracting and retaining employees, create a positive work environment, boost team building and employee retention. A larger majority of graduates prefer to work for companies that are mindful of their impact on the larger environment.
4. Implementation of CSR helps in reducing costs and improving profits which are long run associated benefits.
5. It helps improve customer perception of the brand. This helps customers view the company as a socially responsible contributor.
6. Implementing CSR helps attract investors who are ever willing to put their hands into the sustainable pie.
7. CSR is a very good advertising strategy and considerably economic. What better way than a word-of-mouth advertising?
8. CSR helps in engaging with the socially awakened society
At this juncture it is only fair that we pause and think about the long-term effects of what is enacted in the name of common good. For the socially conscious generation, we can only trace it back in history to the famous saying by the father of our nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi:
“Earth has enough for every man’s need, not for every man’s greed”
Authors – Benila Jacob, Anthony Preetham