Operations: How Does CSR Make Us More Successful?
CSR is your organization’s “corporate social responsibility” factor, a broad term used to describe a company’s efforts to improve society in some way, from donating money to non-profits to implementing environmentally friendly policies in the workplace.
Studies have shown people are more socially and politically involved than ever before, and they expect companies to be playing a role in this landscape as well.
According to Helen Durkin, the vice president of public policy at IHRSA, “Businesses who are politically active are 20 percent more profitable according to a study which reviewed 7,000 businesses and found that paying attention to politics can be very profitable for your company.”
Let me make a bit of a distinction here — when we refer to politics, we are really referring to policy. There is a difference, yet they are intertwined. What people are looking for is a company that shows societal responsibility by standing up for the good of the people in obvious ways. It’s not about party politics, rather about issues that affect the wellbeing of citizens.
In 2017, Cone Communications did a CSR study and found the following:
- 63 percent of Americans are hopeful businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change moving forward, in the absence of government regulation.
- 78 percent want companies to address important social justice issues.
- 87 percent will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about and 76 percent will refuse to purchase a company’s products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.
Americans want their companies to be responsible, pushing progress on important issues and communicating their company values. This does not mean you should be making position statements on every political issue that arises, rather when an issue that aligns with your club’s core values comes up, be active in supporting it.
At the NAC, we became intimately involved in passing the Right to Try bill to allow terminally ill Americans access to experimental drugs earlier, giving them hope to prolong or even save their lives. This was a policy issue with political elements our members openly supported and expressed pride in our involvement. They viewed us as being socially responsible raising our estimation in their eyes.
Linda Mitchell is the director of public and government relations at Newtown Athletic Club.