CSR is traditionally associated with big companies and large turnovers. David Lees from ABS believes each and every company can benefit from integrating CSR into their business strategy.
As it was once stated by Jeroen van der Veer, Shell’s Committee of Managing Directors, “successful companies of the future will be those that integrate business and employees' personal values. The best people want to do work that contributes to society with a company whose values they share, where their actions count and their views matter.”
The big question when it comes to CSR is “In what other part of your business would you invest (or give away) £1000s and NOT expect some kind of return?”. Investing in CSR showcases that you are a responsible business, and one that cares about others but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect to see something back.
It is crucial that you find a cause you truly care about, and one that your employees and customers will also be on board with.
We began our CSR journey by investing £1,100 in an orphanage infirmary in Sri Lanka. By marketing the cause investment, we saw that both our employees and customers bought into the idea and in turn this aided in achieving a profit increasing of £1,900.
We have repeated the cycle several times and now have a tried and tested model of investment, marketing, customer and staff buy-in which leads to increased profit. Through applying this model, when we invested £26,600, we saw a staggering profit increase of £73,600.
By raising brand awareness and profile, as well as showcasing our business as one that truly cares about the community and its wellbeing, we were able to find a new level of connection and understanding with potential customers. A great example is that some of the charities we have worked with bought into our ethos and eventually, became our clients.
Investing in CSR can have tremendous ROI: for us, it meant client growth, industry-leading client retention, a 45% service revenue increase in less than 4 years and marked advances in team morale.
CSR demonstrates to clients, partners, stakeholders and the media that social and environmental issues are at the top of your business’ agenda. The impact on buying decisions is no longer just about the products or services but whether a business demonstrates the “whole package”.
In addition, a CSR strategy boosts staff morale and gives a sense of purpose and pride by being involved in something bigger, something more than stakeholder margins. By involving employees as CSR partners, they have the chance to contribute to something they can feel passionate about and that benefits the business by impacting on retention, commitment and enthusiasm.
Therefore, we believe CSR should be an integral part of a business strategy. It not only positions your company as one that cares about their customers and community in more ways than one, but also provides a new means of acquiring clients and eventually, profit growth.
To find out more about CSR’s ROI, contact David Lees at firstname.lastname@example.org and have a read of our blog.
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