The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been making waves, urging corporations to be – as you may have guessed – socially responsible. In other words, deliberately conducting business in a way that creates a positive impact in the community, environment, and society. The goals of CSR include the following:
- Developing innovative practices that create sustainability and minimize our carbon footprint
- Implementing fair and ethical practices with regard to our products, employees, and clients
- Caring for others through our philanthropic efforts, whether a donation of money, products, or services
As both consumers and prospective employees more highly prioritize the CSR of the businesses they choose, corporations would do well to develop relevant policies for their teams. However, CSR established merely as a public relations ploy will lack the heart needed to make a legitimate impact in the world.
But employees long to be engaged with things that matter; even smaller companies can begin to integrate CSR tenets within their culture. (Key to the conversation? A firm understanding of and commitment to the general purpose and values of the company itself.) Focus on making this concept of giving back, which can encompass all the goals of CSR, a regular part of conversations with your team.
For greater employee buy-in, ask individuals to identify businesses, causes, and projects that align with their personal interests. Highlight the importance of CSR by clearly communicating its value to your company. As an example, at Shepherd Financial, we have committed to serving together as a team every quarter, and our employees are provided with two paid days each year to volunteer where they choose.
While we are providing a benefit to someone else, these team service projects have also been a gift to us. We are able to step away from a fast-paced, demanding schedule, spend time together, and realign our priorities. Top of the list? Helping people. And whether it is through a service project, creating a plan to eliminate debt, or helping successfully usher someone into retirement, we know that genuine relationships matter. So we continue to emphasize the importance of investing in others and giving back.
Do we have room to grow in our CSR efforts? Absolutely. And we’re dedicated to continuously looking for ways we can help people, strengthen relationships, and positively impact our world.