More and more corporates are assuming responsibility for the impact of their commercial activities in different walks of life, whether it is the environment, communities, employees, consumers, stakeholders and all those who could be at the receiving end of the aforementioned activities.
The CSR policy of a business acts as a built-in self-regulating mechanism whereby businesses oversee and assure their support to the law, set and abide by ethical standards and international standards in this domain. CSR can play a vital role and make a valuable difference to society. Implementing CSR in business is not easy; however, it’s best to begin small.
The blueprint for effective CSR implementation is as follows:
Apply and follow similar principles for CSR management as with other aspects of business: CSR should be treated and managed like any other aspect of business. It should involve setting of important goals, priorities and performance indicators, the designing of action plans and subsequent evaluation of performance.
The simpler, the better: A simple and clear-cut policy benefits the organization in the long run. Clarity in such a method leaves less room for complications and mistakes.
Concentrate on the goal: In other words, the focus should be on the core principles of CSR rather than policies and procedures. While being a stickler for policies and procedures may help in some cases, the focus should be in abiding by the principles set.
Try and set measurable goals: The more measurable the goals, the more effective the management of the CSR is.
Target pivotal industry concerns: All businesses should focus on achieving good corporate citizenship in areas such as the environment, employee/labor relations and corporate governance.
Conduct business with honesty: In the realm of CSR, this attitude can extend to actively addressing industry- specific concerns such as alcohol manufacturers can make a difference in the area of discouraging people from drinking and driving. Or, fast-food companies can help promote healthy eating habits and fit and active lifestyles.
Communication is king: Seeking inputs from key groups such as stakeholders for setting CSR objectives can help strengthen relationships. Employees and consumers can be engaged at various levels for CSR programs.
Make it a collective effort: CSR cannot be run by one department alone. It is a force that drives the organization and vice versa. If relegated to any one department, it will become another issue where one can just pass the buck and eventually achieve nothing.
It all starts with a vision, an understanding and a willingness to change, to do better not just for one’s own self, but for our employees and the future of humankind. A systematic approach which involves open-ended research, detailed planning and careful implementation of the plan can lead to the successful accomplishment of organizational goals in the CSR sector.
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