The concept of corporate social responsibility is based on three aspects that serve as it’s three pillars: economic, social and environmental responsibilities. For a company to successfully practice CSR, there should be policies and procedures in place, which integrate the economic, social and environmental concerns into the business operations.
Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility
There are multiple reasons why a company should put CSR at the heart of their business:
- More Efficient Use of Resources – It pays to be socially, economically and environmentally responsible. When a company is conscious of their footprint, they reap the rewards as they become more efficient in their use of resources.
- Reputation Management – A company’s CSR programmes can directly affect their public image. While a positive public response can help build a stellar reputation, a negative response can be detrimental to the consumer’s perception and trust in the brand. Therefore, it is important for a business to invest time and resources into their CSR policy to order to aid their reputation.
- Millennial Demand – Millennials, and even more so Generation Z care about a company’s CSR program more than any other generation of consumers. Studies have shown that these consumers, who have the highest purchasing power, will spend more money on brands that engage in CSR initiatives and brands that support causes they care about. In this digital age where these consumers tend to voice their opinions across social channels, the need for superior CSR programmes has become a necessity.
- Employee Satisfaction – Investing in CSR means investing in your employee workplace and their satisfaction. Professionals are increasingly seeking to be employed by companies who care about them and other social issues, and as a result, successful CSR tends to attract and retain high quality employees. This investment in building a positive workplace environment leads to employee satisfaction, which in turn results in a higher level of employee engagement.
- Enhanced Customer Loyalty – Increased employee engagement leads to a higher level of customer service which in turn results in a better customer experience. An individuals experience with a brand is directly linked with customer loyalty, and so investing in CSR can help improve customer loyalty.
- Attracts Investors – Responsible companies attract and help retain investors as investors themselves are becoming increasingly more interested in a company’s corporate social responsibility performance. Investors are looking past financial results and want to see the practical impact social responsibility has on a firms’ performance.
A company’s efficient use of resources, good public image, high rates of employee engagement, enhanced customer loyalty and backing from investors will result in the company having an overall improved better line, helping their long-term sustainability.
Here at Entrepreneurs Academy, we strongly believe in Corporate Social Responsibility and understand the requirement for it to be part of our core strategy. Our CSR policy and procedures represent who we are as a company, and the values we believe in. We operate with the end goal of creating shared value, we want to maximise the positive impact we can have on society while at the same time maximising the creation of shared value for the business, our employees, and our stakeholders.
Core values are extremely important to any organisation. They are what support the company mission and vision, and help shape the company’s culture. They are the backbone of the company’s identity, expressing the company’s principles and beliefs. They are the heart of who you are and what you do and they communicate the company’s authenticity and uniqueness.
Many companies make the mistake of putting their core values to the side and instead ensuring that their core competencies such as teamwork, reliability and communication are at the forefront of the company. However they should be putting the emphasis on the company core values, and hiring people who share those same values. By doing so, the core competencies will naturally stem from the values-based culture that will have been created.
Doing this will help things run smoothly both internally and externally and contribute to the overall success of the organisation. As business owners, one must identify and live out the core values of the company for the following reasons:
- Clarify the identity of the company – They educate all stakeholders and potential customers about what the company is and what they stand for. The values are often what the public base their perception of the company off and so getting these right is crucial from the outset.
- Act as a source of competitive advantage – Core values are what differentiate a company from competitors within the field. People are attracted to values that resemble their own. Having a clear set of core values that speak to the public can instil confidence and trust in customers to want to buy from a company. This in turn will foster long-term relationships with the brand, thus proving to act as a source of competitive advantage.
- Key for employee recruiting and retention – Hiring the person who best fits a team is vastly more important than the technical expertise that they may bring, as a company can always train them in the skills necessary. When companies clearly outline their core values, it makes it easier to attract like-minded people who fit in with the company culture thus leading to greater productivity.
- Influence overall behaviour – Core values act as a guideline for employee behaviour. When clearly defined, they can inspire employees to hold themselves to a higher standard which can help shape the way they do their jobs. You can easily tell when the values are at the heart of an organisation’s culture, as the employees live the values out, and every company ultimately wants this.
- Help with decision-making – Core values make decision making easier as a business is not going to make a decision if the outcome doesn’t align with their values. Thus they help align your whole business. They assist with the smooth internal running of the business, and this is then automatically transitioned externally.
Throughout all of the Entrepreneurs Academy courses, emphasis is placed on company values and the importance of having them. This is particularly true for the Ignite courses, which are specifically designed for Start-ups. Often Start-ups try to jump straight into getting the business up and running, not realising the importance of having a strong foundation and identity for the company, something which is built around a set of core values. If you are a Start-up seeking expertise help, check out the range of courses available to you here. Or for any other additional information you may need, get in contact with us, we’d be happy to help.