The definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is still evolving. It addresses the concept that, beyond merely conducting its business and adhering to legal guidelines, an organization has obligations such as looking after the welfare of its employees, the community, society at large and the environment.
There are three dominant areas where a company’s CSR might focus: environmental sustainability, philanthropy and community, or diversity and inclusion. Adecco’s recent webinar, “Using Corporate Social Responsibility as a Recruiting and Retention Tool”, helps leaders and managers understand how CSR is important to clients, employees and business, the impacts of CSR on recruitment and retention, and best practices for implementing a CSR policy in one’s organization.
Panelists for the webinar include Rich Thompson (Chief Human Resources Officer of Adecco Group North America), Tyra Tutor (SVP, Corporate Development of Adecco Group North America) and Francesca Mauro (Specialty Recruiter for Adecco Staffing, USA).
During the webinar, four poll questions were posed to attendees, helping to establish an understanding of the audience’s experience with knowledge of CSR and its presence in their workplaces.
Question 1: How would you rate your company’s corporate social responsibility on a scale of 1 to 5?
Tyra discussed why CSR matters to individuals within an organization. At a high level, CSR matters because:
- It feels good
- It’s the right thing to do
- It creates a positive perception from clients and employees
Question 2: Which area of corporate social responsibility does your company focus on the most?
Rich explained that CSR also matters to employees because:
- It hones a positive cultural environment
- It promotes networking and teambuilding
- It contributes to work/life balance and meaningful work (something that is of upmost importance to millennials)
- It creates the perception that, if a company is generous and altruistic, they must also be good to their employees
Question 3: Does a vendor’s corporate social responsibility impact your decision to do business with them?
In today’s world, many consumers consider a company’s CSR before making purchases or working with them. They want their dollars to not only buy things they want and need; they want their dollars to make an impact beyond that. In fact:
- More than half (55%) of consumers will pay extra for products and services from companies committed to making a positive social and environmental impact — an increase from 50% in 2012 and 45% in 2011.
- More than half (52%) intentionally made at least one purchase in the last six months from a socially responsible company. These buyers check product packaging to ensure sustainable impact.
Question 4: Do you think a service day would work at your company?
The panelists described a variety of initiatives and special programs that are a part of Adecco’s CSR, including Win4Youth, Way to Work, the Athlete Career Program and the Career Connections program for military spouses and veterans. Rich emphasized that implementing a good CSR policy does not necessarily require a lot of money: you can make it happen on a limited budget as long as you have buy-in from all levels of your organization, good ideas and time.
55% of consumers will pay extra for products/services from socially responsible companies, via @AdeccoUSA: http://bit.ly/CSRwrap1-tw
Rich explained, “We (Adecco) do a (Great Places To Work) survey every year, and found that service was very important to our employees. As a response, we decided to implement service days – in which our employees can have one day a year to give back to the community in which they live and work. So far, 80 percent of employees have taken their service day this year.
Question 5: How often do you participate in your organization’s corporate sponsored events?
What can companies do to increase employee involvement in CSR? Tyra offered some valuable advice; “Use your unique footprint: think about what your business does, what its strengths are, and where it has exceptional connections and resources.”
Rich presented some concrete examples of ways to get employees involved:
- Hold a service day
- Support employee causes
- Create your own cause
Our panelists also asked webinar attendees to submit their own personal suggestions for making Corporate Social Responsibility a success. Some of our favorites were:
- Sonia: I work for a medical device manufacturing company. There are non-profits who support the same patients that use our products. We invite those agencies to our employee summer picnic. This year we had a dunk tank (which I found myself in!) and all money collected was donated to charity. While at the picnic, those representatives hand out brochures and answer questions about what they do.
- Debbie M: Have a matching service day. Employees use a PTO day for service and the company matches it with a service day.
- Brandis S: For retail establishments, give back within the community any unused goods your company sells, or any leftover items. In kind donations are always great!