Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a broad business concept. It usually describes a company’s commitment to carry out their business in an ethical way. For instance, a company might do activities to protect the planet or support their local communities.
Here are some examples of CSR activities:
- environmental management, eg waste reduction and sustainability
- responsible sourcing, eg using only fair trade ingredients
- improvement of working standards and conditions
- contributing to educational and social programmes
- employee volunteering
- socially responsible investment
- development of employee and community relations
Businesses are trying to make a difference in Corporate Social Responsibility but identifying and executing successful campaigns are having a hard time. Finding the right CSR initiative can become a pain to your company. A well thought out policy needs to be a realistic long-term strategy that has a positive effect and creates interest. CSR can bring many benefits to your business, so these steps would be helpful if you are willing to implement CSR.
- Define a cause/ problem
You need to identify a problem/cause to start with. This step is crucial to the success of your Corporate Social Responsibility campaign. The issue needs to be close to the culture of the company, it needs to be something for employees, and it needs to be something for customers to feel compelled to do.
Think about the problems within your industry, make a list and address the issue from a macro perspective.
- Define Value — what can my business do to solve the problem or to support the cause.
The first step of this approach is to ask employees and customers for feedback and insights. The answers will lead you to define what your business value proposition is for your CSR initiative. Besides, this is a great way to improve your company’s culture. Therefore, an innovative approach that conveys ‘’who you really are’’ is essential. Then, the question is ‘’what value can I get from this?’’
- Make a plan
Firstly, you need to do a research. For instance, have a look at other successful CSR campaigns and activities that other companies have already implemented. Secondly, analyse how a CSR strategy can be applied and be related to your business. Ask employees for their willing of involvement, if they want to spend their time taking part of this initiative. However, usually the CSR activities are held during working days and hours. For instance, in major companies employees have few days for volunteering.
The next step is to do analyses. Hence, the SWOT analysis is a great first point to start. When analysing strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats, you might realise some major points that you would not think of. Also, another useful framework is PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) which will contribute to identify issues that need to be considered. Communicate your plan with employees and company members, remember that a CSR initiative is a great way to improve employee productivity and motivate everyone. The plan requires going along with your business plan, and an effective CSR strategy would be part of your business strategy.
- Set Goals
Use the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable , Achievable , Realistic and Time-Relates) to develop measurable objectives. An effective CSR initiative has to be measurable. You need to consider the impact of the campaign to support it. It is essential to remember that honesty is the key component of CSR. Be honest with your customers and employees about the success of your efforts.
When you have taken all of the procedure properly, you are now at a level where your next step is attempting to make a positive impact on society of implementation. During that point, you have defined a macro problem, you understand your value, you have created a plan with measurable objectives, and you are promoting the initiative. The next step is to implement.