8 easy steps to successful CSR

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A blog by Susan McPherson’s on the eight CSR trends to watch out for in 2015 gives clarity on the direction CSR is taking, or rather, should be taking during this year. With half the year done and 6 months to go, I have no idea how much of what she says has transpired so far. But if companies are to be successful in their CSR initiatives, there needs to be a more intensified commitment. The flippancy with which CSR is being tackled today has got to go.

The first change has to be in our attitude towards CSR. It is not a PR activity. Stop flaunting it as one. Don’t waste money in letting the world know what you’re doing. If you do it right, people will talk, the world will know; it’s all free publicity.

According to the latest Nielsen global survey on CSR for 2014, companies focused on CSR also benefit from their initiatives.
55% customers prefer buying from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
67% employees prefer to work for socially responsible companies.
49% customers volunteer and/or donate to organizations engaged in social and environmental programs.
CSR is good for business and reduces cost of employee acquisition and retention.

How can we make CSR initiatives effective?
1. Have a long-term view on a social cause.
2. Stay focused. Take on 1 or 2 causes at a time, and do them right.
3. Set improvement parameters for the cause with clear goals and deadlines, shared with a central governing body (each country should have its own).
4.
 Take on a cause that’s within the region of your access. If you’re a business in the US with no linkages in Africa, don’t try to tackle a cause in Ethiopia. You’re most likely going to mess it up, besides wasting resources, which can be put to better use.
5. Leverage your resources and competencies. For example, a company making edible oil teaches women from uneducated backgrounds to make chocolates and other sweetmeats as a means of self-employment. It provides them with free oil for their business.
6. Have a dedicated CSR team to bring the desired commitment and focus on it. Don’t share the accountability between managers with revenue generating responsibilities. CSR will take a backseat.
7. Don’t outsource it. CSR initiatives should be conceived within the company or you wont feel the passion of doing it.
8. CSR is not a PR crutch. Don’t showcase it. Instead, divert those resources to enhancing the initiative.

CSR is not just the first step towards philanthropy; it is a follow through to the last mile. With CSR we add another endeavour to leave a legacy of a much better world for coming generations.

 
ref link:eight CSR trends to watch out for in 2015

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sunil Panikker
Sunil Panikker is a business consultant specializing in customer service, operations and business strategy. He has honed his expertise over 30 years of experience, working in senior management positions, with companies having global footprints, and responsibilities that have been cross-functional & multi-locational. His blog shares the experience and expertise assimilated from managing customer experience across multiple diverse industries.

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