The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
12/6/17 1:24 PM
What is corporate social responsibility?
Corporate social responsibility, as the name implies, characterizes what corporations do to be socially responsible. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can take many forms. For a manufacturing company, it may mean striving to go green and reduce their environmental footprint. For other corporations, CSR may equate to providing its employees opportunities to get involved in charitable work. Several companies even pledge to donate a portion of their profits directly toward charitable causes and community-building endeavors.
What is a CSR plan?
A CSR plan is simply the concrete plan a company follows in order to give back to the community and be socially responsible. A CSR plan can be as simple or as complex as the organization desires.
Why is it important for companies to have a CSR plan?
Some may argue that a company’s only job is to focus on profits. Consequently, these individuals believe that pouring money into any program that distracts from boosting profits is a misallocation of resources, and argue that a CSR plan falls into that category. However, research shows that the most successful companies dedicate time and resources to giving back. In fact, a report by KPMG shows that social responsibility in business has become a larger focus among top companies in recent years. Nearly three fourths of the top 100 companies report on corporate responsibility. Worldwide, around 60% of companies report on corporate responsibility as opposed to 20% in 2011.
Corporations that are socially responsible have a profoundly positive effect on consumer purchase intent and satisfaction. According to a Nielsen study, 66% of respondents to a recent survey say they’re willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact, up from 55% in 2014 and 50% in 2013.
How does CSR increase employee engagement?
Companies focused on CSR positively influence not only consumers, but also their own employees. A solid CSR plan creates a positive work environment that promotes creativity, growth, individual philanthropy, and employee engagement. Now, more than ever, employees long to be a part of something that gives them a sense of purpose. Having a CSR plan is one of the best ways to drive employee engagement because it empowers employees to actively participate in a cause greater than themselves.
Recognizing and rewarding employees for time volunteered to charitable efforts can increase employee engagement in support of your cause. In addition, serving a greater cause may also increase morale and productivity at work. Some companies offer paid work time or paid time off for employees to volunteer in CSR projects.
Don’t underestimate the value of corporate social responsibility for the younger generation. By 2025, millennials could make up nearly 75% of the workforce, and CSR is high on their priority list for the job hunt. Research conducted by Cone Millennial Cause Group found that 80% of 13-25 year olds want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.
How do you find the right CSR program for your company?
Finding the right CSR program for your company starts with understanding your mission—in essence, what you stand for. Once you know your mission, find something that best ties into it. Employees and consumers of your brand are more willing to donate time and money to your cause if they can see the connection to your mission. This allows your CSR programs to grow and create an even bigger impact.
Here are 5 basic steps to creating a CSR plan
Start with your company mission
Find a cause that matches up with that mission
Implement programs and activities in line with your cause
Evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts
Continually determine additional ways to expand the reach of your CSR programs
At Nu Skin, our mission is to be a force for good throughout the world by empowering people to improve lives. Thus, our CSR efforts center around empowering our employees to improve lives through various programs and initiatives including the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation.
What does CSR look like at Nu Skin?
CSR has always been a key focus at Nu Skin. We give back to the world and to the community in a variety of ways. From local volunteer work at our annual Force for Good Day, to our ongoing global projects, we are constantly looking for ways to pay it forward. We established the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting under-privileged children in third world countries.
In addition, we have also instituted a for-profit initiative, Nourish the Children (NTC), to help address the problem of childhood hunger. As with it’s other products, Nu Skin earns a profit and pays commissions to its distributors on sales of VitaMeal. Nu Skin’s family of sales leaders, customers, and employees, have donated more than 550M meals to malnourished children around the world. We encourage our employees to join us in our mission to eradicate hunger by becoming an “Employee Ambassador” for NTC. Through this effort our employees are able to use a portion of their earnings to purchase and donate VitaMeal
Recently, a group of our employees and sales leaders had the opportunity to travel to Malawi to participate in charitable initiatives that emulate our mission to be a force for good. For a recap of the trip, click here.
Visit forceforgood.org. to learn more about Nu Skin’s spirit of long-term social responsibility.