By: Ashley Byars
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business value that can no longer be ignored. We know CSR strategy can help a company’s outward image with consumers, but as we continue to see the future of work evolve, CSR is also improving company culture and creating a differentiator for B2B partnerships. In fact, 86% of B2B professionals say purpose is important to their business. We’ve been seeing this play out in three main ways.
1. Attracting and retaining top talent
The Great Resignation is affecting businesses of all sizes. If last quarter’s jobs report is any indication, the trend of people quitting is going to continue well into 2022. A solid CSR program that brings a company’s purpose to life can reduce employee turnover and attract top talent.
A full 75% of B2B professionals embrace purpose because it supports worker recruitment. Potential employees are looking to align themselves with an organization’s brand identity and are actively seeking organizations supporting social issues that match up with their values.
Plus, today’s employees like to keep their options open. According to WeSpire’s latest State of Employee Engagement report, more than half would leave their current company for another opportunity if their company isn’t making a positive impact in the world around them. If their company is making a positive impact, only 12% would consider leaving, and 25% are more likely to recommend their company as an employer.
When companies have a strong set of brand values and mission, it creates an emotional connection with employees and strengthens ties to the company. It also gives employees a sense of purpose at work.
According to McKinsey, people who find purpose within their work are more likely to feel productive, happy and healthy. With 70% of employees defining their sense of purpose through their work, how your organization fosters that for your workforce makes a difference in employee retention and talent recruitment.
2. Greater profitability
Aligning social impact with core values and communicating your company’s purpose not only attracts employees, but also sends shareholders and customers the message that the company holds true to its mission and principles. It increases business value. Companies with strong cultures and core values tied to partnerships tend to perform better. According to IR Magazine’s 2020 Corporate Study, high-purpose brands double their market value four times faster and achieve higher shareholder returns. 73% of B2B execs say purpose motivates their sales teams.
Spotlight on Elara Brands, a For Momentum Partner
One way Elara Brands truly lives out its business values is through a partnership with Feeding America. Their ethos of thoughtfully designed food protection gloves, bags and apparel products has extended into a thoughtfully carried out CSR strategy.
Through Elara’s One Case • One Meal program, the company donates a meal to a person struggling with hunger for each case of an Elara product sold. To date, they’ve helped provide over five million meals to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization with 200 member food banks throughout the United States. Over the years, Elara has donated time in addition to money. They’ve organized food drives and provided volunteers to educate communities about the issue of hunger. Elara reports that their social impact strategy and focus on purpose through positive social change raises the productivity and morale of employees.
“One of the benefits of our cause-driven business model is in building a strong corporate culture, “ says Dan Grinberg, Elara’s founder and president. “Elara’s team members take great pride in helping people struggling with hunger, and we look for new recruits that come into interviews with a passion about our social mission.”
3. Connected and thriving communities
Everyone wants to live in a community that’s safe and thriving. No matter how happy your employees are at work or the dollar amount your company gives, the biggest indicator of impact is the health of your community around you. Since we are all impacted by the actions of one another, strong communities are the ultimate indicator of a great CSR program.
During a recent webinar sponsored by For Momentum, panelist Carley Stephens, manager of community affairs for Gas South, shared how her company implemented new ways to better care for their employees in the time of COVID-19.
After a volunteer event fell flat, drawing only five employees, Carley reimagined what employee engagement might look like at Gas South and how they could better serve employees’ needs.
“My favorite thing we did during this challenging time was partner with the YMCA’s Campus Connection program to offer virtual learning assistance for children in kindergarten through the sixth grade,” Carley said. “This meant that a parent could drop their child off at a local YMCA and their child would one, be provided a computer and internet to log in to class, and two, have a Y employee available to assist with logging in, answering questions and keeping the student on track. Gas South funded this not only for parents in the community, but also for our own employees.”
Contact For Momentum if you’d like to have a conversation about starting a CSR program.