01 May Leaders, their organisations and Corporate Social Responsibility
Simon Mcauliffe – Director
BBA Training – 20 years of Team Direction
Nowadays, leaders have more than just success and profit to think about. Corporate social responsibility and how they are implementing is a very hot topic. From customers to your employees, the majority want to be associated with a brand and leaders who think and act in a good CSR manner.
So the challenge that exists for leaders is how to create a culture that incorporates ethical, social and environmental values while still keeping the shareholders happy?
Time to get your green hat on!
First things first, stop thinking economic, social and environmental challenges and start practicing economic, social and environmental goals.
A really good example of a company and leadership that are doing this is Johnson & Johnson who offer global pro bono advisor or volunteer programs to their employees. In these programs, employees get to go on loan, be it a few weeks or a few months to volunteer their professional skills in developing countries.
The leaders here took the steps to address an issue and apply the tools in their management practice and are reaching their CSR goals, increasing employee engagement, strengthening the brand and doing the right thing!
J&J demonstrate that Corporate Social Responsibility is not just a passing fad but something that is built into the framework of a business and the role of leadership crucial in building it.
Get a Strategy
Just like any aspect of your business model and teamwork, strategy and execution are key to making it work. Whilst researching this topic, I came across a brilliant article by Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson, who work at the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, at Benedictine University. They detail six CSR Strategies that are good for business.
- Align CSR to your business strategy
- Earn support from the top with engagement at all levels
- Look for opportunities to build a future pipeline
- Strong, sustainable partnerships equal automatic success
- Find new drivers of innovation
- Integrate design thinking approaches
Giving great direction and examples with each, their advice is sound, driven and researched.
Have a read and start taking notes!
Realize Corporate Social Responsibility is really good for business
Leaders act on behalf of their employees, customers, suppliers, and community, so let me give you some statistics and examples that will show you how CSR can affect your leadership and your business.
By 2020, Millenials and GENZ are going to make up half of the workforce and what do they care about?
Well over 94% think companies should address critical issues and furthermore, 70% listed their companies commitment to the community as an influence on their decision to work there.
Good talent is imperative to success, so making sure that as a leader you have policies that adhere to their values is critical.
There is only one real boss and that is the customer. As a leader, you know your customer – age, gender, location, interests, and income but make sure to not forget about their beliefs. The same Cone study found that 76% of those surveyed said they would decline to do business with a company if it held views and supported issues that conflicted with their beliefs –
Your strategy needs to conform to your central customers’ beliefs, remember that.
Another interesting and really relevant statistic is that companies considering climate change strategy in their strategic planning see an 18% higher return on equity than those who don’t.
The above statistics illustrate the power that CSR holds with your consumer base and how leadership should strive to harness it.
Bringing CSR policy to your leadership can not only save you money with suppliers but can help get your house in order too. According to a study conducted by Achilles, 40% of businesses have no information on second-tier suppliers and also one in five of those studied have no information about their tier-two suppliers. This ties into local versus global and understanding the true environmental, social, and financial performance that occurs with each.
What does this show us? That leadership must map their supply chain toward CSR and ensure that policies are in place to support visibility and sustainability.
Community involvement is the pillar of a good CSR policy.
It makes commercial sense to get involved in community-based CSR related to your product or service. This lets you use your expertise, and show the human face of your business at the same time.
One such company and their leadership that is making strides are Marks and Spencer who have a CSR strategy that invests in a long-term commitment to hiring lone parents, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged adults from local areas.
Leadership here know that it is the community that shop there so by putting the focus on helping and including their customers, they are enhancing their brand with positive attributes.
With so many facts and behaviors, it is founded to correlate Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Both leave a legacy. The question is what type?
Connect with Simon – firstname.lastname@example.org – 0872774122