Corporate social responsibility: Not just for the big boys

There’s a quiet consumer revolution afoot: given the choice, growing numbers of us would prefer to spend our money with a company doing some good in the community. But does the firm you work for recognise that?


Perhaps your employer has big policy statements or ‘green’ targets, or maybe a showpiece project somewhere, but doesn’t actually offer you a chance to get involved in this agenda? Or do you work for a small business which thinks all that corporate social responsibility (CSR) stuff is for the big boys with cash to spare?

Many large organisations offer paid days for charitable or community work, with staff opting to do many more hours in their own time. This benefits companies hugely in terms of better productivity, morale, and recruitment.

Encouraging employees to be the frontline agents of CSR can also be good for communities, staff – and the economic health of the business.
In today’s market, anyone working for or thinking of joining a firm should feel free to ask the CSR questions

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations says even the smallest enterprises should find ways to help their hinterland right from start-up. Wiring CSR into DNA helps attract customers and employees, and retain their loyalty. It should also help in winning business with bigger corporates, who expect ever higher standards from their supply chains.

Limited resources means the only realistic option may be to work with other businesses on joint projects, perhaps by joining Business in the Community.

Some well-intentioned but busy bosses may just need a nudge in the direction of volunteering or community participation.

In today’s market, anyone working for or thinking of joining a firm should feel free to ask the CSR questions.

Published: 14 Dec 2015
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