Build Your CSR Program in 5 Simple Steps
Building a successful brand and delivering a steller service or product, is simply not suffice to stay ahead in today’s competitive corporate market. If you want to excel in all key areas of employee engagement, customer satisfaction, brand awareness, and of course profit, you need to put together a proficient CSR (corporate social responsibility) program.
Why is CSR important?
From maximising employee motivation to cultivating company values and building a benefactory brand, all while doing good and giving back, the many benefits of CSR can create real positive change for your company and your community.
In this modern age Millennials can be fussy about what work to do, and who to work for. They want to know that what they’re slogging away at everyday isn’t just satisfying a company’s bottom line, but so much more than this, that it’s driving positive change in the world around them.
So how can you get started reaping the rewards of CSR while really making a real difference to your community and environment? Setting up your CSR program is as simple as following these five steps:
5 Steps to Create a Successful CSR Program
Step 1: Get buy in from the bottom up
Before you begin your CSR program, you need buy in from the people who matter the most – your employees. Your workforce will be the driving motivators behind the project, empowering each other, connecting with the community, and creating real and lasting change together. Encourage employee engagement (or for a better buzzword: employee passion) by suggesting your staff choose their cause, discover mutual passions and deliver on different skills. Select group leaders to drive the program, bring in heads and hearts for a brainstorm, and bounce off any extracurricular projects people may already be involved in.
Step 2: Put together a plan
Once you have your team, it’s time to put together a plan of action. For the biggest benefit, your cause should be connected to your company values and brand. This is also to avoid backfire from misrepresentation and misguided intentions, (think Burger King trying to combat child obesity, ironic isn’t it?) To have the most impact, develop a program based on the strengths and resources of your business, align your efforts with the company image you’d like to convey, and tailor towards the audience you’d actually like to reach. So for example, if your company is based in Cape Town, start by serving the outlying communities around you such as Khayelitsha or Grassy Park, rather than try tackling problems on a global scale.
Step 3: Approach community authorities
Next you need the perfect partners to guide your team and accelerate your efforts. Approach respected authorities in the communities who can give you the background knowledge and insight you need to make an impact without stepping on toes. To keep intentions and interactions authentic, you can pursue projects which your company or staff members already have a connection to, or collaborate with other corporate partners to make a real and lasting difference through combined resources and efforts. A good example of this is We Mean Business – a CSR collaboration of IKEA, Walmart and others committed to help the USA reach 100% renewable power.
Step 4: Set goals and metrics
Once you have your team and plan of action in place, acquire a means to measure metrics and goals. It’s all good and well to have good intentions, but to know if you’re really making the difference you claim to be, you need to monitor the statistics of that success. First decide if you’ll make your metrics known through marketing either internally, externally or both. Spreading the seed of your CSR success can help hold your team accountable for their ongoing actions, and keep them delivering on promises. Regularly report your findings, celebrate the accomplishments, investigate how the social action is positively affecting your company culture, and manage your CSR in a simple and transparent manner.
Step 5: Keep on going!
Now that you have the cogs turning, keep the momentum up! Once-off actions isn’t what successful CSR programs is all about – the real results come from continued efforts. Keep your employees engaged by providing them the opportunity to pursue their passions and bring a renewed sense of purpose into their everyday work. Happy employees mean more productivity and longer retention. And this is where Brownie Points swoops in. We equip corporates with the means to boost employee efforts, help develop targeted communication strategies around volunteering, and even give volunteers rewards for taking part in your CSR program.
We at Brownie Points are here to help you each 5 steps of the way and beyond! Sign up with us to start your successful CSR program.