The world could do with a little more happiness and positivity. As a business, it may feel like your organization can only do so much when it comes to social responsibility but in fact, that couldn't be further from the truth.
The small efforts made by your business to help others can have a ripple effect that goes a lot further than that initial impact you make. It's why more businesses should be taking a serious approach to corporate social responsibility in 2022.
In this guide, we'll be looking at the ways corporate social responsibility can be utilized within the business and how you can do so when you operate the company with remote employees specifically. Whether it's a full workforce of remote staff or a selection, remote workers are just as important to involve when it comes to corporate social responsibility.
Corporate social responsibility is a way for companies to actively engage with their local communities and beyond to mutually benefit all those involved. Giving back to these communities shows others sparks a positive chain reaction that hopefully will pass on from one organization or individual, to another.
For businesses, it benefits them to show to the world how giving they are, especially when 70% of Americans believe it's somewhat or very important for companies to do their bit in making the world a better place.
There are some fantastic examples of corporate social responsibility already that some of the biggest businesses in the world have done so far. Here are just a few of the best examples of CSR in action and what has been achieved thus far.
An iconic brand for many generations of families around the world, its CSR programs are fairly extensive, to say the least. One example is their wish-granting programs that have provided once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the most deserving applicants. In 2020, they donated a mammoth $333 million in cash and in-kind charitable contributions to their various programs and nonprofit organizations.
Lego is one of the many companies that've become a World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Partner. As such, they've made active efforts to remove all single-use plastic packaging from its materials by 2025 among many other objectives.
They've also managed to invest $164 million into its own Sustainable Materials Center to experiment further with bio-based materials that can be used during the production of its products.
Popular coffee chain Starbucks launched its own corporate responsibility report back in 2002 with the intention of making its mark on CSR initiatives when it came to its products. It's something they've certainly done a lot with already and as of 2021, they were named one of the world's most ethical companies in 2021 by Ethisphere.
The work they've done so far is ensuring the coffee supply chain is ethically sourced, with it currently standing at 99%. The brand also utilizes the ethical sourcing standards of Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) to help assess all parts of the coffee production process to meet economic, social, and environmental standards.
Despite some of the biggest businesses investing in CSR, not every business does so. Engaging remote workers as well when it comes to corporate social responsibility can prove challenging.
In what ways can you engage your remote staff when encouraging CSR initiatives within your business?
There are plenty of platforms and tools out there that can help effectively manage your CSR programs, rather than doing it all offline. For remote employees, having the flexibility of accessing the relevant initiatives and programs that the business has ongoing is a lot more effective.
Look for a platform or tool that allows remote users to access your CSR efforts at all times, whether that's on the go or within the comfort of their own home office. That way, they can access programs they're involved with or potentially want to contribute to from wherever they are at the time.
Some excellent examples of platforms or tools that you can use when it comes to managing CSR programs could be Alaya, Spark by Benevity, and Selflessly.
In order to get all of your employees engaged in corporate social responsibility, it's critical to make it interactive. Getting the employee involved is part of the effort and that won't happen if you don't make it a collaborative process.
As part of your corporate social responsibility initiatives, you may want to encourage employees to put forth their own suggestions on causes they'd like the business to support. They can become advocates for their own causes rather than it being a case of the organization's superiors cherry-picking the programs.
Ask your remote employees who they would like to help and for ideas on how they could help those causes in particular. With 75% of employees regarding collaboration and teamwork as being important in the workplace, it's beneficial to give employees the option of highlighting a cause to support each month.
Any team-away day would typically take place in person, however, when you're operating with remote staff on any capacity level, that's not always possible. It might be that in most cases, a virtual away day is needed.
The same can be said for volunteer days and creating a remote-friendly option will ensure more employees get involved with these activities.
Pick a cause or project that the group or individuals would like to work with, assign project leaders where applicable, and establish a list of goals for the volunteer day. You could go all out and send your remote employees an activity-related package in the mail to help them get set up for the day.
Just like team away days, volunteer days can be remote-friendly too.
Communication is critical for all areas in business and keeping your remote employees on the latest goings-on when it comes to your CSR programs is useful for keeping them engaged.
Regular newsletter updates on how certain programs are going or updates on how much certain projects have raised are a great way to raise morale and help inspire other employees. Whilst not everyone might play an active part in your CSR programs, you may find some employees express interest when they see the differences it's making through these regular updates.
Email newsletters tend to be the most popular and are worth assembling each month to help round up all of the activities and news that relates to your corporate social responsibility programs.
Recognition in the workplace is an important one because every staff member wants to feel valued in what they're doing for the business. When they get picked out specifically, it can be a rewarding moment in that employee's career that they'll remember as a positive experience.
Workplace satisfaction matters and even though these programs or causes may be worked on with a selfless attitude, they can still be celebrated by the business.
Be sure to pick out those individuals who are going above and beyond to contribute to the CSR programs. You may want to reward them beyond just an acknowledgment and these accolades may also do well in encouraging others to take part.
Corporate social responsibility is important for many reasons in business, beyond simply helping a cause. CSR can help with business reputation and help improve relationships and trust with customers. It can showcase the company's generosity and how the organization has helped many people in their immediate community or beyond.
Having these programs in place can be worthwhile in boosting employee morale, especially with the ups and downs that many can have when it comes to their role within a company. This can lead to better productivity in the workplace which in turn will help with the company's growth and success.
At its core though, corporate social responsibility is a great way of paying something forward. It's an act of kindness that isn't forced and that is a genuine opportunity to help another person or organization in need. In this day and age, we could all do our bit to create a positive environment for businesses and people alike.
If your business is yet to implement a CSR program, then why not consider putting something in place this year? Even if your company operates remotely on a full-time basis, there are still opportunities to give back.
Corporate social responsibility is a great way to bring together people within the workplace and to help those that need it outside of the workplace.
Freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She's also an owner of two blog websites and a Youtube content creator.
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