Taking a Stand on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) During a Pandemic – How Should Your Business Adjust

The Coronavirus outbreak has taken the world by surprise in 2020 and it brought many challenges and issues that a lot of us are trying to recover from.

The second outbreak is just starting and, just like everyone else, we are taking a stand and adjusting our strategies to all the external factors that influence the way we do things. Right now, we are working on choosing and defining how to act during these times of great uncertainty. 

As a collective, what we did until now, it is no longer enough in order to make sure the situation we had before will not happen again in the future. We are choosing to learn from the experiences we have gathered, in the first episode of the coronavirus, and share our insights and knowledge with you. 

From a business and clients perspective, in the first wave of the coronavirus, we saw mixed results. Some businesses were greatly affected while and suffered a lot of losses while some businesses had massive increases in performance. We can only predict what the second wave will bring along, but without a doubt, we must change the way our current businesses are running and learn to ride the wave of uncertainty until the sun clears out again. 

In Today’s article, we will share our experience on how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) should be adjusted during a Pandemic. Some of the most important questions and topics we will go over are as follows:

  • How is CSR perceived in a time of great uncertainty? 
  • How should your business adjust its CSR strategy during a pandemic?
  • Should your Business Stop Your CSR plan during a pandemic?
  • Should your Business get more involved in CSR during a pandemic?

Before standing, we would like to mention that CSR is not a new practice, but it has gained more popularity in recent years because it has the capacity to not only create great change but improve the image of a company, while increasing profits and revenue numbers as well.

How is CSR perceived in a time of great uncertainty? 

One of the premises of CSR is that companies, in a way, have a moral standpoint from where they can go beyond their financial situation and help drive change that will benefit the society.

To take example, CSR practices and strategies have been implemented by the major companies in the world since before an unfortunate event, such a pandemic.

Now, more than ever it is required for companies to rethink the way they are running their business and help drive change where it is needed the most.

Without making a too dramatic statement, CSR during uncertain times is viewed as a small light growing inside of a tunnel, when used towards the people, places, communities and ways it is needed the most. 

Corporate Social Responsibility, during a pandemic is absolutely needed.

How should your business adjust its CSR strategy during a pandemic?

At CSRgrowth.com, we strongly agree that if you have all the resources available, it is more than ideal to help drive change especially in a time like this.

There are so many ways in which your company can help drive change and make a difference and we, the team at CSRgrowth.com, can contribute. 

During the times that we are living, we can see first hand the issues that a lot of us are dealing with, on many levels. 

Without oversimplifying it, this helps us, as the first step towards identifying where your company can place its CSR strategy and plan is by finding the most common problems that people face during a pandemic.

The second step is lining your business values and culture towards a cause you and your business believes in. 

Among the final steps, lie in making up the strategy and executing it.

Should your Business Stop Your CSR plan during a pandemic? Or Should your Business get more involved in CSR during a pandemic?

We are firm believers that your CSR strategy during a pandemic should not stop and in fact, we believe that this is the best time to start implementing and thinking of a strategy and plan for the upcoming months.

Some of our reasons why we do not think that your CSR efforts should stop during a pandemic are as follows:

  • A well built CSR strategy helps create and enforce positive input (much needed in a time of great stress)
  • A CSR practice encourages a positive outcome and helps others be more confident about the future
  • Helps your Company reposition itself differently during these times

During a pandemic, your CSR efforts should be amongst the first things you consider while expanding your plans the years to come. If your business plan for the next 5-10 years does not include a well written CSR plan, your business is missing a lot of potential.

One of the phrases we use time and time again to highlight our point is that: 

The CSR efforts you make (or don’t make) in your company say a lot about your business.

And this applies even more during a time when the world is going through massive changes and moments of unclarity.

Conclusion

We know that the world is facing a time of distress but this should not stop us from evolving. What is happening around us should encourage us even more to create a greater change and look forward to optimizing our internal processes in order to come out of this: stronger, wiser and more prepared for the future.

What we are going through, is forcing us to look beyond ourselves and learn to include innovative ways in which our leaders, our mentors and our businesses can drive change and make an everlasting difference for the next generations. 

Our mission at CSRgrowth.com is to help businesses bring and create sustainable change. We encourage our clients to reshape the way they integrate CSR in their business practices today and offer clear directions and plans on what they can change.

Our team is wishing you and your family to stay safe and stay well.

How CSR Growth Started and How Do We Help Businesses Grow?

In our last post, we have covered best practices and tips on working from home. We shared our best tips from experience. We have been working from home for the past four years and we like to think of ourselves as early adopters in how we work. (and what we do as well) 

The main points and aspects that we have covered were about: 

  • Working on Your Overall Well Being
  • Learning to Balance Work-Personal Life
  • Take Breaks

All these main categories have subcategories where we do into detail on each aspect in order to have a better, more efficient, work experience. 

For more information, you can find the full article here, where you will find the above points clearly presented.

In today’s article, we will make our input a little bit more personal. We will share a few stories about our brand, CSR Growth, and how we do things around here. 

The idea for this article was inspired by a question we got in our bi-monthly QA session. We have been asked a very nice question that gave us a chance to highlight what we do best. In this article, we will go over the ways in which we help other businesses grow, how we do this and what our processes are. Additionally, we will cover how CSR Growth started, what is the story and the mission behind the brand and where we think we are heading.

The Story Behind the Brand – How did CSR Growth Start?

CSR Growth started as an idea, back in 2015, when our founder became more interested in the environment, sustainability, our carbon footprint and the overall impact we have on our Planet. 

Since then, a lot of research has begun.

After a lot of reading and research (here at CSR growth, we are avid readers – ask us about our favorite book and we are lost) we could not just accept the data and information that we found, without trying to make a change. 

And we slowly, did, one step at a time. 

With a solid background of working with a lot of businesses from different niches (auto, medical, pharmaceutical, sports, retail, beauty, skin care,) on their business growth strategy, we decided to take our own path and combine what we learned, what we are trying to protect, with what we do and know.

Additionally, we did not only rely on the real life business background but we also took in consideration our education and got our MBA with a major interest in : Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental Management and Micro and Macro Economy.

As mentioned, above, we like to do a lot of research and we are always looking for opportunities to grow. We are constantly looking out for new courses to take, for new books to read and share the knowledge to help everyone around us perform and grow.

In a few months, we will have some new positions open and volunteer opportunities as well. Looking forward to finding our next CSR Growth, superstar. (more information will follow).

How do we help Businesses Grow?

Now that we shared a little background story on how CSR Growth started and what our background is, it is time to actually go more in detail on how we help other businesses grow. 

We will share what are our main services that we offer and what are our processes.

Ideally, our approach is to explain more and go in details over a quick, intro call, but as mentioned above, our Question & Answer session inspired us to share our story in writing as well.

To get started, we offer 6 main services: 

1. CSR Development 

2. Sustainability Consulting 

3. ESG Strategy – here we are taking an active role in addressing the : environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges in order to drive a positive, meaningful impact.

4. Research & Competitors Analysis

5. Audits

6. Coaching 1:1

Depending on the service that we are doing and what the company needs,  we help businesses grow in different ways. 

For instance, if a company wants to develop their CSR strategies and practices, we come up with the initiatives, the implementation plans and other solutions of expanding. 

An in depth CSR development is usually a longer project and many aspects need to be analyzed and taken in consideration.

We have developed a best practice checklist with strong suggestions in order to make sure that the CSR strategy will have a smooth sail. 

If a company is choosing the Business Consulting Service, we are searching for areas of improvement. Here, we are Analyzing Existing Strategies & Practices and identify areas of improvement. With these services, we are consulting on all areas of a business. Some questions we help find solutions for could be similar to this:

  • How can we cut down our expenses? 
  • How can we improve our processes? 
  • How can we increase the retention rate of our employees?
  • How can we find the best people to recrute?
  • How do we grow year on year?
  • How much money should we invest in marketing?
  • How can we improve our website?
  • Our conversion rates are bad, what should we do?

With the 3rd service that we offer, “Research & competitors analysis”  we are doing in depth research of the company’s competitors, using different tools and methods that we have learned and developed. 

We do competitor’s analysis framework and look at the Business as a whole. Here are only a few aspects that we take in consideration when we do a Research & Competitor’s Analysis. 

  • We look at the market position
  • Online Presence
  • How are the products / services that your business offers, accepted by the market (do they have a great price, do their products have a competitive advantage? are they missing out on any opportunities?) 
  • Does your company have a competitive advantage? If it does, are you sending your message clearly and is your message being understood? 
  • We additionally, not only do a “Research & competitors analysis” , but we come up with initiatives and suggestions on what we think needs room for improvement.

Additionally for the Coaching and Social responsibility audits we review the work you have been doing, find opportunities of growth and improve performance.

With your permission, we invite you to schedule a free call here and let us know how we can help your business grow. We know we have a lot of knowledge and insights to share.

We thank you in advance, for taking your time to read this article and as always, feel free to let us know if you have any questions or if you have any recommendations of posts and articles you would like to see from our end.

Stay well & stay safe. 

Best Practices and Tips on Working From Home – Sharing Our Experience Gained Over the Past 4 Years

In our last article, we have covered some tips and best practices on how to have a successful Q4. We know from experience that the last months of the year are the most challenging and they require a new way of looking at things.

The main points and aspects that we have covered were about: 

  • Preparing Everything in Advance
  • Improving the Retention Rate of Your Employees – (in depth tips on how to do this)
  • Being mindful of How you Spend your Time
  • Increasing Work Efficiency – (how and what you can do)

For more information, you can find the full article here, where you will find the above points clearly presented.

In Today’s article, we are presenting some tips on how to work more efficiently from home. We have been working from home for the past four years and we have some strong points that we want to share with everyone. 

It is true that working from home can be challenging, but with the right practices it doesn’t have to be. Let’s get it started!

Work on Your Overall Well Being

Before sharing anything else, when working from home it is extremely important to take care of your overall being. 

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our tasks and all the activities that we have to do, that we neglect small, important things that are very valuable when it comes to taking care of ourselves. 

Some things you should remember are:

  • To regularly drink water
  • Not forgetting to eat (yes, it happens!) 
  • Getting up at least every once every hour
  • Re-check with your body and with your position
  • Practice deep breathing techniques
  • Learn to Disconnect 
  • Have a workout routine (even going on daily walks is great) a few times per week
  • Talk to your team and ask for help and guidance when you need it

Even if the above points sound really obvious, if you worked from home before, you know that it is very easy to forget and skip some of the activities presented, especially when you are really focused and you need to get a lot of things done. 

Working on your overall well being, ensures that you are ready and more focused to pay attention to the things that matter. 

Learn to Balance Work-Personal Life

Working remotely can mean working around the clock. Not everyone can stop working when the 8 hour window is done. Most of us, especially if we love our jobs and what we do, we can easily work over 10 hours a day. While this can be exciting, it also comes with different sacrifices. 

The more hours we allocate to our work, the less time we allocate to our personal lives. Work is essential but so is our personal life and there needs to be a balance between what we do at work and what we do for ourselves. It’s easy to go overboard, but we should never underestimate the importance of a well balanced life. 

The easiest way to ensure we have the right balance between what we do at work and what we do in our free time is by following a few steps:

  • Creating a Routine  – it is crucial to create a routine we can follow and divide our time between what we do at work (for how long) and what we do in our free time . Of course there are exceptions here, as there are always new unexpected situations that occur, in the majority of time, there should be a routine we can follow. 
  • Removing distractions  – we noticed that the best way to get through the day, in the most efficient way, is to remove distractions and focus only on one thing at a time. This means that we should not check our phones while we are working (unless it is important), or we should not watch TV or listen to the news. 
  • Focusing on a few things you need to do at a time – while multitasking is exciting, so is focusing on one task at a time and doing it well! 
  • Planning your tasks well – we will be honest with you and we will tell you that planning your tasks well, takes time. You need to be very organized in order to make the most out of your day and make it easy. We encourage you to plan well, not only the tasks you have at work, but the activities that you have after work. 

Take Breaks

Funny how on a “Tips for working from home article”, we are encouraging you to take breaks, however this is important.

We have found that taking breaks when you need it, encourages more productivity later on, during the day. We are not robots and we cannot pay attention around the clock, even if we would love that. When you feel stuck and you feel like you can’t contribute as much as you were previously, learn to accept that. 

Learn to take breaks when you need it, even if it is just a five minute break to get a new glass of water. If you need to get up, do it.  

Create a schedule that is the most suitable for you. For instance, you might work better if you take 5-10 minute breaks every few hours, instead of 1 hour a day at a time.

Learn to work in a way that is the most efficient for you and communicate that with your team, maybe you can help them as well. 

Conclusion

In Conclusion, we know how working from home has both advantages as well as disadvantages, however, we are firm believers that this depends a lot on how you organize, plan and balance your life and all the activities you need to do. 

We also know that during this time, things are even more challenging then before and we are sending our best wishes and best thoughts during these uncertain, unsteady times. No matter if you work remotely or not

Next Article

Stay close as in the next article, we are writing about interesting facts and what you should know about your competition. 

Feel free to comment and let us know what kinds of articles you would like to see, in the comment box below. 

Also, feel free to ask us any questions you might have. We would love to answer them. 

How To Have a Successful Q1 in 2022 (Best Practices) – The Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make Today.

In our last article, we decided to show a different side of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), so we’ve covered Corporate Social Responsibility seen from the Customers Perspective. 

In the article, we’ve brought up the following important points and explained in detail the following aspects: 

  • The Value and Importance Your Customers Bring to Your Business
  • How are Your CSR efforts being perceived by your Customers
  • How do You Efficiently Communicate Your CSR Strategy to Your Customers
  • Tips for Better Communicating your CSR Message 

For more information, you can find the full article here. where you will find the above points clearly presented.

In Today’s article, we will cover important tips and best practices on how to have a successful Q1 alongside some of the biggest mistakes business owners make today.

We’ve entered Q1 and we can already feel the Q1 madness emerging. (With the 2020 situation, the Q1 madness started earlier this year).

As we know, Q1 is the biggest quarter when it comes to spent money, revenue and hard work. Everyone is rushing and everyone is trying to finish all their ongoing and postponed projects, so we thought it’s the best time to share some of our tips and best practices during this time of the year. Let’s get started

Prepare Everything in Advance

Whenever you are planning sale promotions, launching new products, or extending your content marketing strategy, it’s essential for you to have an organized and well planned Q1. This is the time of the year where a lot of unexpected problems and situations occur, so it is very important for you to try to be as much as possible, on top of things.

We encourage you to prepare everything in advance. Don’t wait for the last week to decide on what products you want to promote or what inventory you want to purchase. Organize yourself as soon as possible. Start planning your steps now and be prepared to take action when needed. 

If there is something that 2020 taught us, is that things can go bad quickly, and Q1 is not any different. Use the last months of the year to take charge of things and be on top of all your strategies and plans.

Improve the Retention Rate of Your Employees

We’ve said it many times and we will say it again: Your employees are your superpower, without a great, dedicated team, your Business will always hang by a thread. 

The people you work with can either be your greatest value or your biggest weakness. 

This is not new information, but it is an information that more often than not is being swept under the rug. 

Q1 is one of the quarters where most of the employees decide to quit and burnout is more commonly seen during this period of time. The last months of the year are more challenging as the workload is bigger and stressful situations occur more often. Because of these reasons, it is essential to be more mindful of your employees and their well being. 

Here are some tips you can consider:

  • Provide more guidance and be more open minded (especially when needed)
  • Celebrate your employees success more and encourage them to grow by offering them growth opportunities especially when the performance is there
  • Have more one on one meetings with your employees. (Did you know that great managers take time to have one on one meetings at least once per week with their employees just to listen and hear them out?) 
  • Be more flexible and offer more benefits
  • Build connections and get to know your employees more 

Be mindful of How you Spend your Time

It is very easy to go overboard and work more than your body can handle. The last months of the year are the months where we are more likely to focus on problem solving and analysing how this year worked out for us. Because of these reasons, especially if we are not seeing the results we want, it becomes a very common practice to work more and stress ourselves more. 

While working more and being disciplined it is very good, it is really important to draw a line and be mindful of how we take care of ourselves. If we are not eating properly or skipping hours of sleep, we will not be able to give our best ideas where they are needed. 

We encourage you to be disciplined but also be mindful of your time and your energy levels. You will not be able to achieve your target goals and strategies if you are not feeling well and if you are not performing at your highest, optimum level.

Increase Work Efficiency

Work efficiency refers to the task completed in a given time period. The work efficiency can be done by an employee, a leader or a department. Work efficiently is especially important when there is an increase in the amount of tasks and activities that are happening or are being done.

In order to be on top of things, here are our top things you can do to increase the work efficiency:

  • Learn to Communicate Better and re-assign tasks to the person that is more likely to get the job done (well) in the best time
  • Encourage your team to learn new skills (as needed) 
  • Have Clear Goals (SMART)
  • Learn to be Focused 
  • Set Clear Boundaries and Say No as needed
  • Accept that it is normal to take breaks and recharge. 

Conclusion

In Conclusion, we know how important Q1 is to everyone and this article highlighted some tips and best practices we can all do to have an improved, better end of the year.  We hope this article was helpful and offered you some ideas and insights you can work on in the last months of the year. 

We wish you a strong Q1 with amazing results and do not be afraid to let us know in case you liked this article or if you found it helpful.

Next Article

Stay close, as in the next article, we will cover important aspects about best practices from working from home.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Seen From The Customer’s Perspective

In our last article, we’ve covered how Business Culture and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices go hand in hand.

We have defined what is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Business Culture and we’ve created interesting graphics that underline what are the main benefits of using these practices in Business.

To better share the knowledge, we have categories the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Business Culture in the following ways: 

  • Customer Success
  • Leadership Style & Management
  • Employees
  • Performance & Growth Perspectives

For more information, you can find the full article here. where you will find the details clearly presented.

In Today’s article, we will cover Corporate Social Responsibility seen from the Customer’s Perspective. Our main points will be about: 

  • The Value and Importance Your Customers Bring to Your Business
  • How are Your CSR efforts being perceived by your Customers
  • How do You Efficiently Communicate Your CSR Strategy to Your Customers
  • Tips for Better Communicating your CSR Message 

The Value and Importance Your Customers Bring to Your Business

Let’s face it. Your Customers make up your Business. The Role of Customers in any Business is extremely important. If a Business doesn’t take care of their customers, there is a high change that that company will likely fail in the long term. Why is that? Why are Customers so Important and what happens to an organization that doesn’t look after it’s Customers? 

First of all, we have to understand the Roles of Customers in any Organization. The following aspects will be a little bit obvious to some, but they need to be mentioned as an introduction towards our main topic.

Here are a few Roles of Customers – Their Value & Importance can be seen as follows:

  1. Business Expansion – As long as your company has customers, you can consider expanding your Business. 
  2. Long Term Vision and Strategic Planning – They dictate your future, your procedures and operating goals. 
  3. Profit & Revenue – This is the reality. Without Customers and without a supply and demand chain, businesses wouldn’t even be around. 

These are just a few examples, but as we can see, Customers can be considered the Core of your Business. 

The way you take care of your Customers, will dictate how long your Business will be around. 

How are Your CSR efforts being perceived by your Customers

First of all, it’s important to mention that this really depends on the type of CSR Strategy you have. Alongside this, what also makes a difference is how you deliver your message and how it’s being perceived and interpreted.

Since, in CSR Strategies we don’t have a “one rule fits all” approach, as everything is being individualized by the type of Business, the Values, Mission & more,  we are describing how your CSR efforts should BE perceived by your Customers. Here are our points:

Your CSR Efforts Should:

  • Motivate and Inspire your Customers
  • Encourage your Customers to Contribute & Make a Difference
  • Boost & Encourage the Credibility of your Company
  • Support further Growth, Development and Learning

How do You Efficiently Communicate Your CSR Strategy to Your Customers

The CSR Strategy you use should be easily understood by everyone at any age. If a kid doesn’t understand it, it means that you are doing something wrong. We’ve seen CSR strategies that don’t have a clear message, that are rather ambiguous than straightforward and we don’t want that. A CSR Strategy should be clear, on point and with a strong message.

Communication is not only what you say, but rather how you say it and how it’s being understood. 

Tips for Better Communicating your CSR Message 

Get Your Customers Involved

No matter the Business you are running, you have to listen to your Customers. More often than not they are telling you (most likely indirectly) what you are missing in your product or service. As we’ve seen in the first part of the article, your Customers are the Core of your Business and they bring valuable information. 

An important step in communicating your CSR message and strategy is to reach out to your Customers and Get them involved. What are they missing? What are they hoping to see? Where is room for improvement? How are your company’s activities being reflected in CSR?

Can you improve your practices? Listen to your Customers. 

Understand What Your Customers Value

What do your Customers Value? Why are they choosing you and not your competition? What are the biggest perks you offer? These are tough questions, but we’ve seen the answers make a difference and create a new direction. 

What Can your Business Say that your Competition Can’t? 

Request Feedback

While getting your Customers involved is amazing, it’s more often times that not, not enough. Get everyone involved. Your employees, your stakeholders, your accountants, your marketing team. Request Feedback and don’t be afraid of criticism.

Focus on Problem Solving

We’re sure your company can solve some problems that other companies can’t. Why don’t you start there? There is always room for improvement and there is room to make things better. Ask the tough questions. What are the biggest problems the world is facing? How can we contribute? What are the most complicated issues we’ve had? Can we help other companies in this direction?

Boost Engagement & Creativity

Don’t be afraid to make a scene. Don’t be afraid to create everlasting Engagement and Creativity. Your Business needs to start somewhere, why not be bold about it? 

Conclusion

In Conclusion, this article wanted to highlight how CSR can be perceived from a Customer’s perspective and how everyone can get involved when creating Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies. 

Next Article

Stay close, as in the next article we will cover the biggest mistakes business owners make today. 

How Business Culture and CSR Strategies Go Hand in Hand (Tables Included)

In our last post, we’ve defined sustainability in business and what does it mean to have a sustainable business. 

Some of the aspects we’ve touched were related to the following subchapters:

  • What is Business Sustainability? 
  • Who Needs to Take the Lead?
  • The Benefits of Business Sustainability
  • Costs Involved when using Business Sustainability Strategies

For more information, you can find the full article here. where you will find the details clearly presented.

In today’s article, we will cover important aspects regarding Business Culture, Corporate Social Responsibility strategies and how these complete and integrate your whole Business Strategy.

Defining Business Culture

Business Culture (or Company Culture) without oversimplifying it, can be defined as a set of values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterize an organization.

Company culture involves and affects everyone that is part of the organization, this including: employees and the values they believe in, the leadership style and all managerial aspects on how the company is being operated.

Company culture doesn’t only affect your employees or other people involved. It affects all the aspects and processes of your company, some of them being: your company’s recruitment process, long and short term data performance, retention rates and even customer success.

Culture is extremely important as it can measure the strategic impact and the direction of any business. It doesn’t only influence or measures the direction of the company but it influences current results and performance.

Defining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is a vast term that can take up many forms and doesn’t have a fixed definition. It generally includes a management concept and a self-regulating business model that aims to be socially accountable in all aspects. However, this is not all. Every CSR aspect can be defined differently by how a company chooses to respond and integrate it in their strategic plans.

With CSR, companies integrate initiatives that bring change and add value to everyone involved: customers, stakeholders, communities, society & more.

Business Culture and Corporate Social Responsibility Benefits

Now that we defined what is Business Culture, in the following table, we’ve highlighted some of the benefits Business Culture has and how they represent your company. We’ve created different categories to underline the Benefits Business Culture has on:

  • Customer Success
  • Leadership Style & Management
  • Employees
  • Performance & Growth Perspectives
Source: CSRgrowth.com

Additionally, adapting to the same format, we’ve created another table to highlight the benefits of CSR strategies and practices and how they can take up many forms.

Source: CSRgrowth.com

Conclusion

In conclusion, in Today’s Article, we’ve covered some general aspects about Business Culture and Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy Practices. 

We’ve underlined the benefits of Company Culture & CSR from the following point of views:

  • Customer Success
  • Leadership Style & Management
  • Employees
  • Performance & Growth Perspectives

Next Article

Stay close as in the next article, we’ll write about CSR seen from the Customer’s Perspective

Defining Sustainability in Business – What Does it Mean to Have a Sustainable Business?

In our last posts we’ve covered some common myths when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility practices and strategies.

Here are the main highlighted ideas and some myths we’ve debunked in the previous post: 

  • CSR is too Expensive
  • No one is Interested about CSR, therefore you shouldn’t do it
  • Companies Shouldnt Focus their Efforts on CSR
  • There is no innovation in CSR practices
  • CSR is a Waste of Time and Money
  • CSR is too Complicated to Plan 

In today’s article, we are defining Sustainability in Business. What does it mean to have sustainable practices in your Business? What are the benefits long term? What are the costs involved? Who needs to take the lead? These are a few questions that can arise when we think about business sustainability.

Introduction – What is Business Sustainability? 

Sustainability is a practice. However, a very simple definition of sustainability defines it as the practice to exist constantly. With sustainability we have the possibility to meet our needs without having a negative impact on the next generations. Sustainability can be obtained at any level, including: social, economic and environmental.

In today’s world, it is no longer optional to have a sustainability practice in place, no matter if we are referring to professional or personal matters.. Having sustainability practices and raising awareness towards them is slowly becoming the norm. There is no longer a surprise that in a professional environment, the more a leader you are, the more responsibility you have, therefore the activities and the practices that you do, are becoming more important and impact others.

Business Sustainability among everything else, is a new way of reshaping your daily tasks. It requires a new way of doing things, as it involves rethinking all the processes and activities that your current business is doing. Some questions we can ask ourselves that check where we stand with Business Sustainability are:

  1. Do we know what Business Sustainability is? Are our employees, customers and stakeholders aware of this practice?
  2. Do we see value in Business Sustainability? If we see value, how do we measure it?
  3. Are we currently having any sustainability and CSR practices in our firm? How can we start implementing them?
  4. Do we know what we need and what it implies to create more business sustainability practices in our activities? How much help do we need? Where do we get the help that we need?
  5. Does it make a difference? Is it required? How can we take the lead?
  6. How does having a Business Sustainability / CSR practice affect our brand / image?
  7. What does it mean if we aren’t engaging in Business Sustainability and CSR strategies? Does it affect our brand / image and efforts we make negatively?

Who needs to take the lead?

As stated previously, the more of a leader you are, the bigger the responsibilities you have. In our opinion, everyone needs to take the lead, however, business owners and organizational leaders need to help others take the first step towards change. The more power someone has, the more they can influence others and influence doesn’t have to be considered a bad word. Psychologically speaking, we as human beings, influence everyone around us without even knowing, so it’s important to know where we stand and what are the values we want to have more awareness of.

Alongside business owners, managers, supervisors, human resource professionals and employees can get involved and propose sustainability initiatives and CSR strategies. The more demand is, the easiest is for business models to change and adapt. 

The Benefits of Business Sustainability

One of the benefits of Business Sustainability is that it creates change that impacts in positive ways future generations. The more value we can bring now, the bigger the impact will be later. There are studies that underline how the new generation is more interested in Businesses that are sustainable and are actively making a change: environmentally, economically and socially. The new generation is more likely to work or get involved and purchase from companies that are creating and are responsible for positive change. 

Another benefit of creating Business Sustainability is that it encourages others to be more aware of the changes that they make and step up their game. Having a CSR strategy and a sustainable business practice, gives you a competitive advantage and separates you from your competition. 

Besides creating change and gaining a competitive advantage, creating a business that is sustainable from various aspects is a business that is more likely to be present and successful in the next years and the next decade. Investing in a CSR strategy can take your business one step further to your company’s mission and core values. Having a sustainable business practice implemented in your firm, can ensure you that your company’s mission and core values match and are valuable aspects that are being put in the right perspective.

Costs Involved when using Business Sustainability Strategies

Starting a CSR strategy or re-building a sustainable business model can take a long time and it can be costly. The investment that you will be putting in your CSR strategy depends on how much involvement you want to get and how much time you are willing to allocate to this practice.

At CSRgrowth.com we know that a strong CSR strategy requires both time and money but it also has a great impact and creates significant change.

Feel free to reach out to us or schedule a call here to discuss what are the options for building a lasting CSR strategy and re-build your business model in order to be more sustainable. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article highlighted what is business sustainability, what are the benefits of having a business that is more sustainable and what does it involve. (cost and time wise).

In this article, we also highlighted some of the most important questions you can ask yourself as a business owner, account manager, leader or a passionate employee to have a better image of where your business/or the company that you are working for, stands with Business Sustainability practices.

Next Article

Stay close as in the next article, we’ll write about the questions you should ask yourself before implementing a CSR Strategy.

Common Myths and Concerns about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Explained

In our last post we have covered some general aspects about how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has grown over the years.

Here are the main highlighted ideas from the previous post: 

  • Big Companies are Taking the Lead
  • New Workforce is Being Created
  • Environmental, Social and Governance Interests are Changing

We have also wrote about future trends and what we can expect to see from Corporate Social Responsibility practices in the next few years.

In today’s article, we will debunk some common myths and Concerns about Corporate Social Responsibility to help bring more awareness and clarity to this subject.

Corporate Social Responsibility is too Expensive

Yes! – It could be, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. There are many ways in which you can incorporate social responsibility practices and strategies in your business or activity even with a limited budget. 

In our strategic call, we cover how much you want to spend and what we would propose depending on your business type, core values, brand position and the strategy we want to implement. 

In the long term, it will cost your business more money not having a CSR strategy in place than having one that you are actively involved in. 

No one is Interested about CSR, therefore you should not do it

A common myth about CSR is that no one is interested in Corporate Social Responsibility and that you shouldn’t do it. This idea is widely spread and inaccurate.

Here are a few aspects why this approach is wrong:

  • Shareholders are becoming more and more interested in the triple bottom line approach. The triple bottom line approach (TBL)  involves a framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial aspects. The phrase was introduced in 1994 and has been given a new perspective to create greater business value.
  • Millennials and the new generation are concerned with environmental, ethical and social world aspects. They will influence how businesses operate, how consumers will eventually purchase their end products and how new practices will be built. 
  • When someone says they don’t believe in the power of CSR, they have not read the last data and they are not up to date with the new vision and practices that are being created. 
  • There are different reports, statistics and books that show how much CSR has grown over the last years and how the interests in sustainability and more ethical practices are growing.

Companies Shouldnt Focus their Efforts on CSR

We take the opportunity to be very direct and say that: companies that are not making any efforts in their CSR practices, are not thinking long term. 

The thing is, companies should focus their efforts on CSR strategies and practices. There is no way around it, especially during these times.

Slowly but surely CSR will no longer be optional.  In the next few years, there will be a trend where new regulations will come out and CSR will become the norm.

Don’t you want to be leading when that happens? Or do you want to be taken by surprise? 

There is no innovation in CSR practices

This myth couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, there is so much innovation that can be done for a business by using and implementing CSR practices.Just by looking at a business and it’s core values (if they have any), the possibilities are endless.

If a business doesn’t have their core values highlighted, we can help you define them.

To clarify, a business does not necessarily need core values in order to define the next steps towards a CSR practice, but it surely helps, since it is a great starting point.

In addition, it’s important to mention that CSR does reflect on your company’s mission, values and core strengths. CSR enhances all these attributes that your company has.

CSR is a Waste of Time and Money

Another myth about Corporate Social Responsibility practices is that they are a waste of both time and money. While this can be true, it can apply to any business efforts and not only to CSR. For instance, the efforts you are making on your digital advertising, could be a waste of money, without the right strategies.

Before we implement any CSR strategies and practices it is important to know how you, as a business owner, would like to measure performance and what key performance indicators (KPIs) we’ll want to use. 

With every CSR strategy and practice, we’ll help you set your KPIs and objectives to make sure the results that we are after are measurable. 

With a clear plan, measurable goals and well defined KPIs your CSR efforts don’t have to be a waste of time and money. 

It’s too Complicated to Plan 

With a dedicated team, we’ll help you with the process along the way, making sure each step of the strategy will be easy to implement.

You will not question where your strategy is going, what we are doing or if we are making progress. You will be informed and up to date periodically. 

When someone mentions that CSR strategies and practices are complicated to plan, it really depends on how responsive the team is and how they work. With a great plan and strategy, CSR should not be as complicated to plan. 

Conclusion

Corporate Social Responsibility has the power to make a difference when no other business aspect can. That is a strong reason why CSR is not replaceable.

In this article, we have shared common myths about and concerns about Corporate Social Responsibility that we have heard about many times.

We hope you found this article interesting and insightful. 

Do you know any other myths about CSR? Or do you have any concerns? Please feel free to leave a comment on this post and let us know your opinion. 

Next Post

Stay close, as in the next article, we’ll be defining Sustainability in Business.

The Growth of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Recent Years. How Should Businesses Adjusting their Strategy in 2022

In our last post, we have covered the importance of CSR and the way it impacts any business. 

We have started with the definition of Corporate Social Responsibility and followed with some important aspects by underlining why Corporate Social Responsibility matters now in the way companies run business.

Here are the main highlighted ideas from the previous post: 

  • The Consumers and Employees views are changing.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer optional.
  • The efforts you make (or don’t make) in your CSR strategy says a lot about your company.
  • CSR & CSR reporting might become mandatory in the future
  • CSR is not something you do once.

In today’s article, we will cover The Growth of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Recent Years and we will dive deep into how CSR has changed and evolved in the last period. We will look at aspects involving questions like: “What is changing?”, How rapidly things are evolving?” and “What are the future trends?”.

Corporate Social Responsibility During These Times

Big Companies are Taking the Lead

One of the biggest companies in the world invest their time and efforts in CSR strategies and practices that make a difference. These companies are the leaders when it comes to bringing sustainable change and making a difference. They understand how important it is to dedicate your time to causes that matter.

We will not name the leading companies that have a Corporate Social Responsibility but we are sure that you know them. They are market leaders in: technology, communication,  innovation.

The large companies that use and incorporate CSR practices know that they can bring value to those who need it in times where things are changing rapidly.

This underlines that Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming a high priority and a well structured plan and strategy can have a great impact on the overall business plan of a company.

Corporate Social Responsibility strategies require a well structured plan and practice that, when done right, can have a great impact on the overall business.

CSR also affects many aspects of a company including: how it’s being seen, how trusted the company is or isn’t and how will customers perceive the company in the future.

New Workforce is Being Created

Through Corporate Social Responsibility a new side of Business is expanding. We are seeing a new field of activity being created.  CSR and sustainable development strategies help create new jobs on the market. 

We have seen a big rise in new jobs and work activities. For example: CSR officer, Sustainability Analyst, Sustainability Specialist, Environmental Engineer and many other positions that were not available many years ago.

Jobs and activities that were not a priority years ago are becoming the norm of the future workforce. We see how there are many more job offers and requests to positions that include corporate social responsibility strategies.

All this means is that through Corporate Social Responsibility:

  • The Economy is Growing
  • The Society is Evolving
  • Communities and Employees connect easier to companies that share their values
  • There is a change in mindset to re-evaluate the results business want by making sustainable changes and optimizations

Additionally, we are seeing that the leading Business Schools in the world encourage future students to take CSR courses and engage towards activities that develop a better future.

What this means is that we see more and more courses available online that teach students that want to learn about: CSR, sustainability, ethics practices and business, corporate ethics. 

This change will create the next generations of business leaders that will change the way business will run. The new business leaders will take in consideration different aspects that influence our world. Aspects that were not considered a significant subject, years ago. 

We are happy to see that CSR, Business Sustainability and Business Ethics are gaining  more and more awareness in this subject matter. This awareness is essential towards bringing sustainable change.

Gaining awareness in this subject matter is essential towards sustainable change.

Environmental, Social and Governance Interests are Changing

In 2019, interests in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors had a significant increase and gain in popularity and it is expected for this trend to be rising in the next years as well.

We see this opportunity, we see this trend and we are ready to act upon it. Are you?

Corporate Social Responsibility Trends – How will CSR look like in the next few years?

Undoubtedly, CSR is growing. Just by looking on Google trends, in the past 12 months, there has been a great increase in searches related to: CSR, Sustainable Businesses and other related terms. 

Here are some percentage insights on the searches that increased in the past 12 months. By research, we’ve found that there is:

  • a 60% increase in searches related to: “CSR reporting”
  • a 60% increase in searches related to:  “Business sustainability”
  • a 80% increase in searches related to : “what does CSR mean”
  • a 130% increase in searches related to: “CSR project”

These numbers are encouraging and they underline the fact that people are becoming more and more aware of the problems that can arise when CSR strategies are missing.

We are confident that in the next few years, CSR will become the norm. There is no doubt that systems will be implemented on a global level for gaining solutions that weren’t available or taken in consideration years ago.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article underlined some of the aspects that have changed in the recent years regarding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development.  

At CSRgrowth, we are seeing that the system we are taking part of is a system that is at the bottom, a social one. A social system that requires connections in all business contexts and in the global chain.

Because of this, we are confident in the change we can bring when it comes to creating and implementing strategies that bring a positive change in your business, community and workforce.

Do you think Corporate Social Responsibility has grown in the recent years? Do you see CSR being the norm in the future?  Would you consider taking up a job in CSR? Is the company you work for implement CSR or ethical business practices? – Let us know in the comments section, down below.

Next article

Stay close as in the next article we’ll cover common myths about Corporate Social Responsibility. 

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Why Does it Matter in Business?

What is CSR?

CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is a vast term that can take up many forms and doesn’t have a fixed definition. It generally includes a management concept and a self-regulating business model that aims to be socially accountable in all aspects. (economically, socially, environmentally). However, this is not all. Every CSR aspect can be defined differently by how a company chooses to respond and integrate it in their strategic plans.

There are many types of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and they can be categories as follows:

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Philanthropic 
  • Human Rights

We have to mention again, that these categories are not the only available ones. The split can extend further by how each company chooses to implement and adjust their strategies, in order to involve different Corporate Social Responsibility practices. 

With CSR, companies integrate initiatives that bring change and add value to everyone involved: customers, stakeholders, communities, society & more.

What’s important to mention is that everyone can create and achieve results using CSR strategies and sustainable management practices within any corporation.

Why Do Companies Implement CSR Strategies Now?

Corporate Social Responsibility has gained more popularity in the first half of the 20th century and it’s currently on the rise, as more enterprises started to integrate CSR strategies into their business. 

The main reason why CSR has gained popularity so rapidly is because managers and leaders are seeing the value CSR brings to any firm. Corporate Social Responsibility forces us to go back and rethink our core values and act upon them.

With CSR, entrepreneurs and business owners are pushed to understand their business more. They have to re-adjust their priority list and re-think how the mindset of their business works and how it will look like in the following years.

CSR is gaining popularity rapidly, mainly because of the value it brings to any firm. 

Here are a few positive aspects of incorporating CSR strategies in your business:

  • Encourages Social Change
  • Builds Brand Value and Brand Awareness
  • Can Increase Revenue and Profits
  • Represents a Growth Opportunity
  • Creates Trust
  • Enhances Cultural Values
  • Encourages Companies and Entrepreneurs to be Creative 
  • Inspires a Change and a new vision in Strategy
  • Motivates Long Term Thinking
  • Straightens the Values and Mission of a Company

Why Does CSR Matter Now?

There are many reasons why Corporate Social Responsibility matters now. In our opinion, CSR always mattered but now, it matters even more. We know the following things:

The Consumers and Employees views are changing.

The consumers and employees views are shifting towards a more sustainable and ethical practice. Based on some early research, we already see this movement happening. The public is getting more and more interested in what’s behind the company, their products, their work ethic, their environment and their overall impact in the world. 

In a few years, down the line, consumers will no longer want to purchase from companies that are not bringing a sustainable change. 

Additionally, employees will no longer want to work for companies that are not matching their moral and ethical views.

This means that every company needs to step up their game and make a difference in the way they run their work.

Every company, no matter the size or investment budget can stand out by implementing CSR strategies that showcase the firm’s value and core beliefs. At CSR growth, we are changing the Business Models. It’s time to adapt.

Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer optional.

In our time, we know that implementing a CSR strategy is no longer optional. A point has been reached where companies, customers, and employees are becoming more open minded and want to see businesses having positive impacts. 

There is a sense of urgency.

CSR it’s not something you add on your to do list. CSR has to take part of your overall strategy and the way you think.

The efforts you make (or don’t make) in your CSR strategy says a lot about your company.

There is no longer a secret that everything you do or don’t you in your business has a consequence. As with everything in life, the way you present yourself has a great impact on future outcomes.

Because of this reason, it’s safe and accurate to say that Corporate Social Responsibility is as important as any other aspect in your business. 

This means that if you put great efforts in Marketing, Branding, PR, Profit Analysis, your CSR efforts need to be there as well.

Corporate Social Responsibility enhances all the efforts your company is making.

CSR and CSR reporting might become mandatory in the future

Large companies are sharing CSR reports in order to be more transparent and showcase their CSR efforts. 

Sharing CSR reports is not mandatory yet, however in the European Union, the directive 2014/95 requires large companies to make public information on the efforts the companies are making to be more sustainable. This report is meant for companies to disclose how they are operating social and environmental challenges.

CSR is not something you do once.

As easy it may sound, CSR is not something you do once and then you are done with it. CSR is generally a long term process that encourages a mindset shift. A shift in the way your Business represents itself, in the way it’s seen and expressed by your employees, your stakeholders and everyone involved.

There are one time CSR strategies (eg: a one time donation / a specialized fundraiser, for a certain event) but generally CSR should be a practice of repeatedly doing and re-affirming your values and ethical practices, over a longer period of time.

This movement encourages a big change in the way businesses think and work and this is where CSRgrowth comes in.

We are helping companies create long lasting CSR strategies that are matching the demands of the customers and employees.

Conclusion

In Business School, one of the first lessons you learn is about the power and shift of the supply and demand curve. Ignoring CSR practices is like ignoring a demand that is present and continually growing. A clear business mistake which we know that business owners should not make.

What do you think about CSR? Do you implement it in your Company? Do you think it’s important?

At CSRgrowth.com we know that Corporate Social Responsibility requires a new way of doing business. Do you agree?

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