Over the years, companies—no matter how big or small—continue to develop their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs as more consumers strive to become socially responsible, even when it comes to their purchases or the companies they are supporting.
With more social issues coming up—politics, racism, poverty, etc.—people now want companies to take a stand. So if a business wants to stay relevant, it should step up its CSR efforts. Here are some CSR trends that could help boost your business:
Diversifying the company environment
There is diversity almost everywhere, and it should also be applied in corporate settings. According to Forbes, there has already been a progress when it comes to women at work. Though there are still wage gap issues, some women have already been taking higher positions because they are capable to do so.
Now is the time for companies to boost their profile by diversity and inclusion (D&I). Despite the fact that there are a lot of minorities that are qualified for certain jobs—whether they are supervisory or entry level—companies could also discover new opportunities and markets through diversified manpower.
A new way of volunteering
Volunteering has always been a part of some CSR programs, especially those that involve charities. But now, volunteering can be aligned with business goals. This way, companies could actually leave an impact to the cause they are helping. If employees are actually volunteering for the work that they are doing professionally (or are good at), the work would run a lot more smoothly and they could actually solve some challenges that some campaigns are facing.
Citing Forbes’ example, people working in the hospitality industry often develop efficiency in food distribution to lessen food waste. They can apply it in while volunteering for food banks that are trying to serve more people, especially that these agencies receive plenty of donations that need to be sorted out.
Developing communication internally, then publicly
Some companies, especially the bigger ones, usually have trouble communicating with all of their employees. This is why you need to develop various communication platforms that allow the management to relay information to everyone, not just for the sake of transparency but also to develop solidarity. When a company is able to communicate well on the inside, it could also reflect how they communicate with their clients or customers. People would want to support companies that are transparent, and one way a company can do that is by being open not just to its employees and shareholders, but also to their clients.
As mentioned earlier, consumers want to support companies that take a stand. A part of this move is to be authentic. Standing up for something should not be seen forced. It should be at least related to your company or something that your company can relate to. Some companies consider brand activism. In fact, several CEOs have already taken a stand when it comes to social issues such as gun control, issues with transgender in the military, racism, sexual harassment in the workplace, and many more.
Recently, Nike released an advertisement featuring ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is one of the NFL players who knelt during the national anthem in 2016 in protest of racial injustices toward the African-American community. Though some reacted negatively toward the campaign, some consider it as a brave move for Nike, per CNBC.
These CSR initiatives mostly tackle current social issues that investors care about, which is why businesses should consider and take advantage of them.
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