There are two primary ways that an organization undertakes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The first method is engaging in social initiatives by providing funds and resources to improve the lives of the community. The second method is less known and appreciated as it involves providing services and producing products that are in the best interest of the public. Defining a responsible social role for an organization is far more benefiting. A company with a well-defined CSR boosts its employee engagement. Employees are motivated to work in an organization with a good public image which is usually promoted by CSR activities. A CSR activity does not necessary need benefit the outside community, but it also benefits the members of an organization (Lindgreen, Swaen, & Maon, 2009). A well-defined CSR role ensures the employees welfare is catered for; this increases the employee loyalty and retention rates. Employees in a company with a clearly defined CSR position are more satisfied and are more likely to be more productive.
In any organization, investors are concerned principally with two main things; maximization of their wealth and proper use of funds. The latter is more concerned with the operations of an organization which includes CSR activities. A company with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility has a better chance of attracting and retaining investors. There are investors, especially for non-profit organizations, who do not care about the profits but how their resources are spent for the betterment of the society. The investors would be committed to an organization that upholds the welfare of their employees, has ethical business practices, and uplifts the lives of others.
The corporate image or reputation of an organization is at the mercy of its CSR activities. Google Inc has one of the best CSR reputations in the world because of its CSR activities one of them being the refugee fundraising effort. The company identified a global crisis and committed its efforts and resources to try and deal with the situation. A lot of people associate with the global immigration crisis and would contribute quickly to the cause without thinking twice. The CSR initiative has increased Google’s global reputation to unassailable heights.
Even though CSR is conducted out of will by the organization in promoting ethical business practices and appreciating the society, it indirectly acts as a branding tool whether intentional or not. Different media can employee volunteer programs and donations of an organization which can go a long way in shaping the consumer perception about an organization. The publicized efforts improve the public relations of an organization and lead to attraction of more customers to an organization. Consumers would like to be associated with organizations that do more than operate for profit.
Organizations with CSR defined roles benefit from better regulatory body relationships. An organization that conserves and preserves the environment would not have any trouble with environment regulators and other relevant societies. Also, organizations that provide the best working environment will have a good relationship with labor organizations and related bodies. CSR-oriented organizations will have no problem with activist groups and the government.
There is ever increasing expectation of the society for corporate responsibility. The greatest expectations are operationally oriented duties by the organizations. The society expects that the companies should reach a certain standard in their operations such as preserving the environment and treating their employees well. The second expectation of the society is that the CSR should have a positive impact on the community it operates in by giving back to the society through helping solve social problems. Social problems can be solved through education initiatives, health initiatives, employment, improved infrastructure, etc. The community would expect an organization to give back to the environment it is operating. In the next decade, apart from the societal expectations increasing on CSR, customer loyalty will be determined mainly by the social responsibility of an organization. Factors such as green environment, philanthropy, and ethics will play the greatest role in customer choice of a product regardless the price.