Integrating yourself into a community can be challenging, but it is crucial to success. Corporate social responsibility policies allow a firm to act like a conscientious citizen. CSR efforts benefit the community, the company and customerswith buying standards, waste disposal methods, philanthropy and the like. At their best, CSR measures have the potential to improve employee morale, boost brand image with customers, benefit society and increase the firm’s bottom line. CSR is often associated with large corporations, but even the smallest business can fairly balance the interests of all stakeholders.
Sponsor local organizationssuch as youth sports and arts programs, school partnerships and relief organizations. A scholarship competition for high school students may cost the company just a few thousand dollars but make the brand known to countless potential new customers. If disaster strikes the community, spring into action quickly by erecting clearspan structures to house relief efforts, evacuation areas, donation centers and blood drives. After the initial need settles down, you can use the space to arrange fund raisers that meet ongoing needs throughout the community.
Publicize CSR measuresto the community. Philanthropic activities and volunteer work tend to reach more people when they receive more press. Organize a grand-opening bash for original events and use your media channels to promote existing events in which your firm participates. A recycling drive may get 100 bottles from your employees but 500 from in-store bins—and 1000 if you advertise a discount for participation on your Facebook page. Get employees excited about volunteering and that energy will be contagious.
Continue efforts to establish and maintain visible CSR connections to the region. Your business model may include a provision to add one more CSR practice each year. For greater employee buy-in solicit suggestions then allow employees to choose which policies to implement next. Create a successful CSR example and you will set the standard for other firms in the area and become a real hometown hero.