A business, brand or corporates public reputation has become an important topic of discussion in recent years. This makes it important for major corporates and brands to develop CSR policies to help demonstrate their business ethics and contributions towards uplifting public and community needs. With constant pressure from public whistle blowers, most brands today have developed corporate social responsibility policies which address various public concerns.
What is corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to an organisation commitment towards addressing pressing public concerns by contributing finances, equipment and other requirement to help relieve the public issues. There is no limitation to the type of CSR contribution but it must be a facility which helps uplift the communities, staff and stakeholders wellbeing. Developing CSR policies also demonstrates a business; brand or corporates ethics which help attract positive sentiment and public awareness regarding the brand thus helping boost brand value.
Types of corporate social responsibility
There are four main categories of CSR assignment namely Philanthropic Efforts, Environmental Conservation, Company Diversity & Labour Practices, and Supporting Volunteer Efforts. Business CSR policies require falling and addressing issues falling within one or more of the above categories to meet public needs.
Philanthropic CSR Efforts
Philanthropic refers to CSR done for a charitable or humanitarian cause. This results in Philanthropic CSR Efforts mainly being performed by large Multinational Corporation which have developed a global brand name and will dedicate a certain percentage of the brand’s profits towards developing corporate social responsibility projects which address major issues being experienced by communities at large. Examples of some projects include medical research on untreatable medical conditions, orphan care projects and community development and empowerment projects. The Philanthropic Efforts will mainly focus on large projects which address a global or national issue and which local communities, the government and international community may be struggling to resolve. Examples of Philanthropic CSR Efforts include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which focuses on brings technological development to underprivileged communities. Another perfect example of this is the Tata Memorial Hospital which specializes in Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) and offers free cancer treatment to underprivileged patients.
The environment is experiencing serious degradation and damage in recent years making it a global concern among the public. This has prompted many companies to fall under scrutiny for their operations and contribution towards improving environmental. Many companies are responsible for environmental damage which has severed effects on the environment making it important for the companies to develop and utilize corporate social responsibility policies that address their contribution towards environmental degradation and damage. Various project types are falling under this category including carbon footprints management, working environment policies, fair-trade participation, charitability, Volunteering, environment policies development, education on socially and environmentally consciousness. Corporate social responsibility relating to environmental issues will in most situations require for an organisation, business or corporation to first identify a breach in environmental guidelines based on which policies can be developed to address the concerns. With more consumers becoming environmentally conscious, corporations and businesses need to make sure they are addressing public and consumer demands to retain the consumer’s interest. To retain consumer interest the organisations must address environmental concerns and demonstrate their willingness and contribution towards improving the environment.
Company Diversity and Labour Practices
Labour, staff and employees play a huge role in streamlining a business’s operations making it important to develop labour policies that address cultural diversity, gender equality, workplace safety and comfortable working environments. Each of these points is critical towards improving staff morale which has a direct effect on the businesses performance and growth. Happy and comfortable employees are likely to be more productive thus making it essential these facilities is delivered.
Cultural diversity refers to hiring staff from various cultures, communities, religions and regions. This is important as it demonstrates the organisations view towards addressing multiple cultures and communities and encourages them to work in the same environment with a single goal of development. It is essential to develop Cultural diversity policies that clearly outline the guidelines and have strict policies, rules and regulations which must be implemented in case of policy and gridline breach.
Corporate social responsibility policies relating to Company Diversity and Labour Practices also need to address gender equality in the workplace. Every organisation needs to develop an effective policy which stipulates the precise ratio of males, female and third gender employees hired by an organisation. This ensures the organisation delivers equality working opportunities to all genders.
It is essential for the organisation to also consider and deliver a safe working environment for its staff members. This requires for the HR and facilities departments to review different workplace hazards which may harm a staff member. These issues need to be raised and solutions delivered to help reduce the risk of physical and mental harm to staff members while working at the organisation. It’s also important to develop staff compensation frameworks in case of injuries at the workplace which will help compensate staff members in case of injury while on the job.
Comfortable working environments
It is essential for the organisation to also deliver a confirmation working environment to its staff members as this is likely to enhance productivity. The organisation’s HR department requires developing suitable policies that set clear guidelines and targets relating to staff performance and targets but at the same time also deliver comfortable working environments which will keep employees happy and contribute towards employee performance. In addition to policy development, it’s critical for the organisation to also organize entertainment programs to help staff members socialize and have fun which is critical towards relieving stress and anxiety. Organizing such events will help staff members release stress which will automatically improve performance and enhance the business operations and productivity.
Supporting Volunteer Efforts
CSR also involves organizing volunteers to assist with crisis and disaster management. The organisation can participate in volunteer programs to assist affected people during disasters and crisis by offering different forms of assistance. As the number of crisis increase due to environmental degradation, global warming and natural disasters, an organisation can show its participation towards crisis control and management by assigning its staff or hire specialist and equipment to affected communities and regions. This helps communicate a brands or organisations commitment towards community wellness and care thus helping build a positive reputation for the brand.
Corporate social responsibility has grown to become an important aspect in business as it allows the organisation to contribute towards community wellness, education and assistance. With an increase in the use of internet, mass media and social media, the public expects organisations to contribute towards community development programs as a goodwill gesture.