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The importance of CSR in the workplace

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31 May 2018
I have been working with Sellick Partnership for over a year now and one of the reasons why I love working here is the company’s commitment toward its employees as well as society. At a company event last year, our Managing Director, Jo Sellick said that ‘good people’ know how important getting involved with charities is and how important it is to have people willing to help as part of the organisation. Those words really moved me. 

I am now part of the CSR committee to push myself to make a contribution. I am excited at the prospect of organising activities for my colleagues who, like me, may find it hard to contribute time outside of work. While it’s easier to donate money, it’s more meaningful to devote time whether to feed the homeless, walk an abandoned dog or befriend a lonely elderly person. Donating time will provide an inner satisfaction that simply can’t be achieved by handing out the cash. Often, it’s an opportunity to reflect on our own life and appreciate what we have that others are lacking in theirs. 

Currently, Sellick Partnership’s sponsored charities include Coffee4Craig, a local charity in Manchester that supports homeless people and St. Ann’s Hospice, a charity that supports and provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses. We are now working to expand our CSR initiatives toward causes that our staff hold close to their hearts and encourage more staff to get involved in these. After conducting a survey with our staff between all of our regional offices, we have collectively decided to work with the following charities over the next year: 

These will join our two longstanding charities St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord’s Taverners.

For those unaware, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) simply means that an organisation acts responsibly for the impact it has on the environment, the community at large as well as other aspects of the society. 

Advantages of CSR for the organisation

So why is CSR trending among businesses worldwide? Holding accountability for your actions does have its advantages regardless of the size of the organisation. According to the Grant Thornton International Business Report 2014, 67 percent of the businesses globally said that cost management was the biggest driving force in implementing ethical practices. The second and third driving forces being client/customer demand (64 percent) and ‘it’s the ‘right thing to do’ (62 percent) by business leaders. Other key drivers include public attitudes/brand building (59 percent) and recruitment/staff retention (58 percent) down to fourth and fifth position despite both rising in importance since 2011. 

Clients often want to associate with businesses that do charitable work or implement sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint. It attracts positive media attention when participating in community activities and presents an opportunity to highlight the steps being taken to be a responsible, sustainable company. In UK, 62 percent of the businesses have cited client/consumer demand as the key driving force in implementing best practices.

Consumers are increasingly opting to obtain services from businesses that implement sustainable initiatives and businesses are taking note. It’s a great way to boost sales and expand your client reach to those who are demanding to do business with companies that act responsibly. 

One of the reasons why businesses invest in CSR is to enhance its reputation. Not only is it more attractive to new candidates to be a part of a company that dedicates its efforts toward social causes, but it’s equally appealing for prospective candidates. It can also help retain existing employees to know that the organisation they’re working for believe in good will. This in turn can help reduce costs associated with recruiting new staff frequently. 

Benefits of CSR for employees

Not only do CSR initiatives enhance a company’s reputation, but they can be a great motivator for its employees to know they’re contributing toward an organisation that is conscious of its practices and what impact it can have on the environment and society. 

CSR enables employees to get more involved within the company. Not to mention that any charitable work done through work can be highlighted on the CV for future jobs. Employees will feel empowered to be able to have their say in the decision-making process as to which cause they want to work for through the support of their employer. Often, this provides a greater sense of identity and can be more rewarding than financial success within the business.

Employers are more likely to be cooperative knowing their company implements best practices. Knowing that their employer cares for their well-being as well as that of society can in turn motivate employees to go the extra mile for the company. This also means they will be more likely to help their colleagues when required, which can help promote a stronger and closer relationship between them. As a result, it can create a positive work environment for everyone where employees truly begin to care for the company’s overall performance beyond their own. Being involved in CSR can improve employee engagement and can help improve performance, as it provides an alternative purpose to daily work. When you care about what your company does, then you care about its success as well. At the same time, it can be a great opportunity to gain recognition within the company and get noticed for your work alongside the CSR initiatives.

Making a difference 
CSR initiatives can only be a success if the organisation at its core truly believes in making a difference in the world. It has to value the success of its employees with the intention to ‘do good’. Like with anything else we do in life, good efforts need to be backed up by good will and conviction. Only then will you be able to reap its benefits. If you’re working for a company that has a CSR programme, then get involved. If you’re a part of a business that doesn’t practice CSR, then take the initiative to get it started. As long as it can be embedded to the organisation’s business model, stakeholders will see it as advantageous to invest in CSR activities for their organisation as well as its employees.
To find out more about how Sellick Partnership supports the communities in which we work check out our charitable giving page using the link below. Charitable giving
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