In today’s socially aware environment, employees want more than just a pay check. People are increasingly interested in working for a company whose values match their own — to the extent that attracting talent through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies has become as important to the hiring process as competitive salaries and employee benefits. Research by Nielsen has shown that 67% of employees prefer to work for socially responsible companies and a recent sustainability studies have demonstrated that effective CSR can increase employee retention by over 50%. So it’s simple enough really — the companies that have matched their growth strategies to their values are a step ahead in future-proofing their businesses.
At this stage of the game it’s pretty clear that companies benefit from CSR in more ways than that great feeling you get when you do the right thing — but only if you’re doing it correctly. As explained in our DNA HR Manifesto, for a CSR strategy to be effective it needs to fit with your employer brand, and your employees should understand why they support the initiatives that they do. CSR is no more than fallacious marketing — or ‘hypocritical window-dressing’ as famously stated by Milton Friedman — if it lacks any real meaning behind it.
But companies are beginning to wake up and smell the roses — and not the one’s planted in the corporate garden once a year. In order for your employer brand and retention rates to reap the rewards of CSR, your strategy needs genuine buy-in from inside your organisation; from top to bottom. And by giving your CSR programme the respect it deserves and aligning these efforts with your company values, not only will it do wonders for your employer brand — it will maximise the impact of your philanthropic efforts too.
Here are five companies getting their CSR strategies right: