At present, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is taking on great importance within companies. Far from being only the marketing tool that it was for some organizations in the past, CSR is beginning to be, in many companies, what it was intended for. CSR operates in the social dimension of companies towards their internal collaborators, in the first instance, and towards all the other stakeholders of the company, in the second instance. Aaron Rodriguez, an expert in business plans for its proper development, explains how CSR is of great importance for the growth of a company.
CSR operates in three concentric circles. “This social dimension makes the company extend beyond the mere product or service it offers, to cause people to occupy an important place for the organization,” Rodriguez states.
The inner circle, which forms the core of CSR policies, is made up of the company’s internal collaborators, its employees. Issues such as work-life balance, maternity/paternity leave, social benefits, etc., are included here. The intermediate circle is made up of the local environment, the municipality, city or province in which the company is physically located. Taking care of the environment implies facilitating its development through private initiatives supported by companies. And finally, the outer circle, which would make up the country to which the company belongs or the crossing of borders to an international environment, with the entire planet as the destination point.
Currently, there are several important reasons why it is necessary to develop a CSR. First, the social function of the business. Companies have the fundamental task of being a social agent, both internally and in their environment. Rodriguez says, “Yes, it is true. For-profit companies have the main objective of being sustainable and obtaining profitability. What is also true is that the way they use money makes the difference between one company and another.”
Another important reason is the improvement of employee involvement. When causes are embraced, people rally around them. Therefore, it is very beneficial for a company to provide causes that its employees can embrace. Companies that do not take into account the social dimension of the company become colder companies with a much-improved working environment. Employee motivation and involvement levels are lower, and, as a result, profitability is often negatively affected.
On the contrary, companies that do take this social dimension into account achieve better working environments, with more involved people who share, support, and embrace the cause promoted by the company in this social dimension. The company’s reputation is undoubtedly a more than obvious reason. ” CSR has been used a lot for corporate marketing. This exaggerated use of CSR has led to actions ‘framed’ within CSR being publicized far beyond what was actually being done.” Rodriguez says.
Today, thanks to technology, the information offered by companies must be truthful and consistent, because information flows freely over the Internet and any misrepresentation of information can have an undesirable boomerang effect for any company.
Just as ‘bad news’ flies, good news can also go viral. And that is what we should be looking for: CSR actions that are related to our company’s activity and that can be used to show the company’s social involvement so that it acquires a better reputation among all its stakeholders and with the general public.
And finally, customer loyalty. Customers are probably the most important stakeholders of an organization. Without sales, an organization is dead. Therefore, building customer loyalty is an important task for the growth and evolution of a company. CSR actions are a driver for this customer loyalty, especially if specific policies for them are included in CSR policies.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t take big actions at first. Small actions, on an ongoing basis, can also bring great results. All companies can carry out Social Responsibility actions. It doesn’t matter how big they are. The important thing is always to have a direction to follow.