Socially Responsible

4 Ways Employers Can Be More Socially Responsible

How important is it for a company to be socially responsible?

Very important. It’s been shown that corporate social responsibility (CSR) increases brand reputation, which in turn, increases profits. CSR is now the chief purpose of corporate America.

Corporate Social ResponsibilityHere are 4 ways to increase your company’s social responsibility.

Going green

Every little thing you do can help the environment. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage employees to work from home. If this arrangement works for your type of business, it certainly saves on commuting, which is deleterious to the environment. This can also save the company money (less space is required) and employees may value the arrangement for their work-life balance.
  • Go for energy-efficient equipment (i.e., items that use less power). Energy Star lists some office machines to consider.
  • Reduce paper consumption. Print on both sides and reuse old paper for notes, etc. Jettison paper cups and plates in the breakroom; replace them with washable (reusable) items.
  • Choose better cleaning supplies. Consider natural products, such as vinegar. They’re eco-friendly and less costly.

Embracing diversity

Creating a diverse workforce comprised of people of different genders, ages, sexual orientation, disability, and other attributes can have a positive impact on your company in many ways:

  • You have access to a bigger talent pool.
  • You can gain new ideas coming from different perspectives being recognized as socially responsible.
  • You probably will increase your profits. A 2015 report found that public companies with ethnic and racial diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above industry medians.

Working with the local community

Many small businesses are Main Street enterprises that depend on the overall success of their business districts. It’s important for small businesses to be good local citizens. Obviously, hiring locally helps the local economy. But there’s more that can be done:

  • Sponsoring charitable activities, such as little league teams, blood drives, and city/town events.
  • Increasing the local tax base. For example, sales tax generated by the business helps the city and state.
  • Providing local products. Small businesses may be able to promote the talents of local artisans, farmers, and other area businesses.
  • Supporting other businesses. Small businesses that succeed locality help other small businesses to prosper. They bring consumers to the area and an increase demand for other businesses, such as restaurants and bookkeeping services.

Giving employees time off for volunteering

Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, an organization founded by Paul Newman for CEOs who believe that a company’s social policy determines success, found that 65% of companies offered paid time off for volunteering. This helps to raise the profile of the business as socially responsible, like Newman’s Own.

As a small business, whether you can offer paid time off obviously depends on your numbers. But you may be able to offer unpaid leave time during your slow periods to enable employees to pursue their volunteering efforts.

Final thought

As you look forward to the future, consider what increasing your CSR can mean for your business.

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