Corporate social responsibility can be described as those activities that an organization carries out by engaging customers and building relationships with them. These acts of kindness can impact negatively or positively on the buying decisions of customers and having such relationships with customers and their host communities can help companies increase sales and profits.
Performing social responsibility has become important to organisations in recent times and part of their social responsibility may include cleaning up the environment, investing in the people in the host communities and trying to end poverty. Showing concern for health, helping the societies tackle local or national issues affecting the societies and these mere actions of kindness can be commendable.
There are two kinds of environment an organisation is responsible to:
(a) The internal environment
This comprises the staff of an organization. An organisation’s responsibility to its internal environment here describes its kindness towards its employees and this may include prompt payment of salaries, bonuses and allowances as and when due, employees’ welfare packages and so on.
(b) The external environment
The external environment which comprises customers, suppliers and the local community. This describes the environment outside of an organization and it encompasses the customers, the suppliers and the host community(ies).
Responsibility to customers
An organisation’s first and foremost duty to its customers is “value for money” and next is “excellent customer service”. Doing these makes customers happy to call back again to patronize and it helps woo more prospective customers.
Responsibility to suppliers
An organization also owes a responsibility to keep up with agreements made with its suppliers and also to always pay up as and when due.
Responsibility to the host community
An organization also importantly has to ensure it does not pollute the environment in which it operates and also has to make sure it cleans the environment from time to time and properly dispose their wastes. Some of the community projects organizations do include but are not restricted to; sinking of boreholes, provision of solar systems, construction of school classroom blocks, road constructions, provision of waste disposal dumpsters and so on.
There are many reasons a company may want to perform social responsibility but only a few of these reasons are explained here below:
Refining the company’s image
A good corporate social responsibility act can strengthen an organisation’s brand and can also help build a good corporate image. The way the customers of an organization and people living in the host communities see an organization goes a long way in instilling confidence in shareholders and investors. By performing these acts of kindness called social responsibility, an organization automatically creates a positive image because it shows they are not only concerned about their profitability but also the social consciousness of the environment.
Building relationships with customers
Establishing relationships with customers is the pillar behind most successful businesses because a positive perception of the company by customers or investors impacts on the decisions of the customers. A lot of times when customers realize a portion of the organisation’s profit goes to charity, they tend to buy more of a product or they become willing to pay more for a product and this directly boosts the organisation’s sales and eventually its profit.
Organisations tend to be outstanding in competition
An organization that interacts with its host community tends to stand out amongst its peers in competition. Building relationships with customers and host communities helps brands improve their images and therefore, they get a larger market share than their peers who don’t perform social responsibility at all.
Low labour turnover
Corporate social responsibility gives employees some sense of belonging to be a part of something as big as social responsibility as it makes employees utilize the corporate resources to do good especially organisations who have employees numbering in thousands and one can only imagine how amazing an initiative will be when the employees back initiatives up.
Also, being part of an exceptional service that serves the ‘’greater good’’ boosts employees’ morale to remain in the organisations and this in turn results in greater workforce productivity.
Another way an organization can save costs is by performing corporate social responsibility (CSR). Companies save a lot on some costs such as packaging, and regular environmental clean up, proper waste disposal et cetera. For instance, a manufacturing plant somewhere in Nigeria was shut down due to the carelessness of a staff with less attention paid to proper disposal of their waste products which eventually led to the shutting down of the plant which could have been avoided in the first place but it cost them a lot more by being shut down due to non compliance to environmental pollution laws and they lost a major market as a result of that.
In conclusion, when the culture of CSR is incorporated into an organization, it attracts employees and also helps retain an organization’s staff, it helps keep an organisation’s clientele and also importantly, it helps increase profitability.