CSR can be defined as business self-regulation in the purpose of serving the society, which includes human beings, the environments, and their own workforce. The engagement in philanthropic and volunteering activities even though is believed to be voluntarily, it certainly contributes enormously to a company image.
CSR has become one of the hottest subjects in the recent years when environmental and climate situation are believed to be at stake. The explosive popularity of social media and internet also attributes to the propagation of news, leading to the corporate ‘s obligation to provide transparency of their policies and activities towards their own employees and related stakeholders.
Companies demonstrate their commitment to CSR in various ways, normally depending on the size or the impact of their organization. The activities can range from internal volunteer initiatives to global campaigns.
Regardless of the influence of their efforts, the good deeds are always welcomed and regarded highly by their own employees, future clients and customers. It is said that 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a service or products from a socially responsible company.
The benefits of CSR are also obvious in strategic human resources management, and here is the reason why:
1. Improvement of employee satisfaction
The ISO 26000 Social Responsibility standard states that “the objective of social responsibility is to contribute to sustainable development” and internal development is one of the main axes. CSR should not be understood as organizational objectives towards the communities but also their own human resources. This includes their efforts to provide the best working environment: well-being at work, trainings and teamwork activities to enhance the sense of belongings. The encouragement of diversity or equality among workers will give employees more motivation and pride to be a part of their companies.
Employees satisfaction does not simply come directly from HR policies that companies deploy for them but also from company compliance to their own external CSR practices. Employees, especially generation Z are proud of their own organization because they believe they are contributing also to the philanthropic and charitable activities.
2. Improvement of company image and corporate culture
In the era of 4.0, where words and stories can go viral in a click away. A company’s image can either be improved or be degraded considering their attitudes towards the society. And it goes without saying that their corporate culture can reflect their CSR commitment and vice versa. External and internal communication regarding the subject can serve greatly in publicizing companies’ image for employees as well as customers.
The shape of company image is also a part of company culture and DNA of their activities, especially manufacturing companies whose impact on the environment or human is phenomenon. Their production activities should go side by side with their HRM strategies to avoid conflict with companies CSR engagement.
Furthermore, CSR as mentioned above, should not be regarded as external policies, they also involved all corporate efforts to maintain balance in the workplace, ensure base human rights and promote empowering message. The more HR officer and managers are driving their culture to be CSR oriented, the more they will be creative in the way they manage their people. More initiatives will be put in place instead of traditional common practices involving pay or bonuses.
3. A strategic tool for recruitment
According to 2019 Porter Novelli/Cone Gen Z purpose study, the generation Z (young generation ages from 14 to 22 years old) feels profoundly concerned about social and environment issues. They believe that they are partly responsible to make a difference and hope that there would be some leverage or support for them to do so.
This generation will certainly the workforce of the future and contributes to companies’ success. With a raise of technology and the popularity of LinkedIn as well as numerous career website, the competition for talent has never been more severe. Companies no longer possess the upper hand like they did many years ago. The recruitment process is a two-way street where the candidates can choose where they belong to.
Understanding the trend and the facts about what the future of workforce, companies should make effort to engage and attract this population through their commitment in CSR activities. They can show the future candidates that they are willing to lead the way for them to contribute not only to the company but also a greater cause: the society and the environment. Talent attraction will be much easier and on point with the coherence in activities and policies. An employee who does not only care about his own benefit will sacrifice more for the growth of the company.
In conclusion, CSR is more than just a topic nowadays, it has become a worldwide focus and a real global task that every company needs to take part in. CSR compliance can not only reinforce best practices in HRM but also create actual social impacts and inspiration for the new generation, the targeted workforce of the future.