Organizational Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility

Feature , Strategy — By on May 10, 2011

You may have heard some of the national coverage about the tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest and the Southeast in the past few weeks. Here in St. Louis, many people lost their homes when a tornado roared into the metropolitan area on Friday, April 22nd. Vandover’s offices lie very close to the areas that sustained the heaviest damage – primarily residential areas with single-family homes.

In the aftermath of the tornado damage, Vandover’s employees volunteered with a tornado clean-up program in our community. Vandover offered employees paid time off to volunteer with local disaster clean-up teams, allowing many employees to offer their support and skills.

While corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs like these provide much-needed community support in times of need, CSR initiatives also have a number of benefits for the company itself – particularly in the realm of creating loyalty and team building among staff, promoting the organization as a responsible contributor to the community, and appearing attractive for recruiting efforts.

Here are some primary benefits of organizing CSR programs for your organization:

1. Obtain Good Public Relations
Perhaps most obviously, CSR initiatives serve double-duty as good public relations opportunities for the organization. Companies that get involved in their communities increase their visibility and find chances to build positive rapport with other local businesses, organizations, and individuals. While PR can certainly be good for business, PR can also be a good way to build awareness of your company as an employer, too.

2. Boost Morale Internally
Most immediately, CSR programs can be a great morale booster for current employees. Providing volunteer opportunities speaks volumes about your corporate culture. Allowing employees to work on such programs enhances team building, employee satisfaction, and company loyalty.

3. Enhance Recruiting Efforts
CSR programs can make your organization very attractive to prospective employees and enhance your recruiting efforts. Research indicates that employees favor working at organizations that provide the opportunity to give back in some way. In fact:

• 62% of employees said they would prefer to work for a company that allowed them opportunities to volunteer at nonprofits, rather than work for a company that did not offer such benefits. (Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

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• 80% of respondents expressed their desire for an employer that gave them options to “give back” to the community in some way.  (Wall Street Journal

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You don’t have to wait for a natural disaster to inspire community involvement or to create a CSR program. There are hundreds of ways in which your business can develop Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, whether your business focuses on reducing paper, working with a shelter, maintaining a community garden, or raising money for a local charity. However you proceed, CSR programs are a win-win-win scenario for the company, the employee, and the community.

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