By Noel Griffith
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an often overlooked area within small to medium organizations. It’s not just large companies that have a responsibility to give back to their communities, neither is it just large companies that can benefit from being active in their communities with their CSR work.
CSR typically relies on man-hours, and in my experience, the amount of people willing to put in those man hours varies greatly from company to company. The willingness of employees to go out into the community and make a difference stems from two things:
If you want your staff to follow your CSR directive and believe in what they are doing, they need to see how much it means to you. I am always amazed when I hear CEOs tell me that CSR isn’t important to their company, or they don’t think it makes enough impact on their bottom line to invest time and money.
CSR makes a huge difference to any company, no matter what size. The four key areas CSR has a positive effect on are:
When entering a new organization, to change the mindset and culture that’s already well-rooted in regard to CSR you need to address the following:
The most effective and proactive companies always have a CSR team. This is a small group of people that get together weekly to discuss new projects and share feedback on past projects.
It’s not just the employees’ attitude to CSR that can be changed by implementing these changes. You can start to grow a more productive culture. Strengthen employee relationships, and strengthen the whole core of your organization.
You can’t force or fake company culture. Culture has to be grown and managed by everyone within the organization. You are in the position to facilitate and oversee this, and for me is one of the key, pivotal roles of a CEO.
Your company image is driven by the quality of CSR work you carry out in the community. This can’t be faked either. Showing a genuine willingness from the top, down to the middle-management and base employee level, is imperative. So form a CSR committee today, empower your employees to take control of new CSR projects, and take an active part yourself.
Noel Griffith has worked as a careers advisor and recruitment consultant for a number of years both on a one-to-one basis and with large corporations. Finding a passion for blogging and sharing his experiences with a wider audience in recent years you can find him at careerswiki.com, or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.