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Corporate Responsibility: CSR In The Holiday Season
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Corporate Responsibility: CSR In The Holiday Season - Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: CSR In The Holiday Season

Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: CSR In The Holiday Season

Let’s start with the numbers. According to a 2014 Nielsen survey:

  • 67% of employees prefer to work for socially responsible companies.
  • 55% of consumer will pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
  • 52% made at least one purchase in the past six months from one or more socially responsible companies.
  • 52% check product packaging to ensure sustainable impact.
  • 49% volunteer and/or donate to organizations engaged in social and environmental programs.

If you’ve read even a small handful of CSR-related articles in the past couple of years, you’ve heard similar numbers about employee retention and customer loyalty. This stuff isn’t new, but since the holiday season is a time where the impulse to express concern for our fellow humans is especially powerful, it’s worth examining how and why we express it.

Our fellow citizens want us to exercise responsibility for interests not directly related to our bottom lines. This highlights the conundrum of wanting to do good while also wanting to it for the right reasons. Do we engage with our communities because of genuine concern, or do we do in response to social and economic pressure? Nowadays, it might not matter, at least on a practical level. Keeping our community involvement a secret still helps the communities we serve, but it does little to raise awareness, and it does nothing to help the public find the businesses it longs to support.

Perhaps the desire to be seen as a caring organization is the wrong motivation, but put into motion, it at least benefits the targeted community, raises public awareness, and helps our socially concerned customers find us. It’s a weird loop, but it beats the alternative of not having even the loop.

Holiday-related CSR might serve a better purpose, though, and it’s in the first of those Nielsen numbers. If CSR is part of our corporate identity and culture, every expression of it need not address every objective in our CSR philosophy. Perhaps one project helps the local indigent, while another helps our employees with personal growth, while still another works to preserve natural resources. They are all important concerns, but each is targeted a different way.

Our employees feel the holiday vibe but don’t always have time or other resources to turn vibe into action. Perhaps this time of year is the right time for less PR and more caring on the down-low. Offering our teams the time, agency, and encouragement to put their own touch on community caring is beneficial to the community while satisfying employees’ desire to make a positive difference. As a side benefit, it can increase employee engagement and personal development.

Possibilities are endless, but let your teams decide how they might support community causes, and if they ask for support not otherwise offered, lean toward yes as a default. In the spirit of the season!

Reference Link:
Nielsen (links to PDF): http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/apac/docs/reports/2014/Nielsen-Global-Corporate-Social-Responsibility-Report-June-2014.pdf

 

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Corporate Responsibility: CSR In The Holiday Season - Executive Leadership Articles

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