#70 – Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies

The average person will spend one-third of their life either at work or working remotely. That is roughly 90,000 hours spent away from family, exercise, or personal hobbies. Employees are catching on. 

Today’s workforce requires a sense of belonging. They want to know that their values align with the organization’s and to see themselves in the diverse co-workers they work with, and for. Think of it like dating. You wouldn’t enter a long-term relationship without sharing some distinct values, right? For small to mid-sized companies, the long-term relationship is crucial and a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy can be the differentiator.

What is strong CSR work? Too many well-intentioned companies fall into the trap of hiring one professional to manage all internal diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts and external community relations without determining an informed CSR strategy. Help the poor soul that lands that job! 

Sustainable CSR efforts require more than one internal champion. At SchermCo, we work as an extension of corporate teams to implement real, actionable strategy. Below are some areas we may analyze to better understand our client’s organizational structure and needs: 

  • How diverse is your employee population?
  • What has been the history of CSR/D&I at your organization?
  • How are you meeting the needs of your diverse employees?
  • What are your employees saying about your organization?
  • Do you need a different recruiting strategy to expand the diversity in your workforce?
  • Do you have an employee network and cultural affinity groups?
  • Do you have a diversity council?
  • Do you have Internal Cultural Champions?
  • Do you have training on unconscious bias, cultural inclusion, and resources for your existing workforce?
  • Do you have community partnerships that support your diverse recruitment efforts and help create access to open positions?

Employees are drawn to a company that is dedicated to a relevant issue. How well do your employees know of the good work your company does? SchermCo helps organizations tell their story, quantify and measure progress based on the implementation of CSR strategies. Impact insights help corporate leaders share a narrative their employees can connect with, ingest and articulate. Not to mention, proper outcomes measurement helps corporate leaders make informed decisions about where and how to invest their philanthropy budget. 

Lack of outcomes reporting can leave a company blind to their ROI and unaware of their reciprocal investment which is why SchermCo works with teams every step of the way to produce solutions to imperative questions like:

  • How do your employees communicate CSR efforts to clients, prospects, and customers?
  • Is your organization sponsoring events that support your diversity and inclusion/retention efforts? Can your employees participate in these events?
  • Does your organization show intentions around philanthropy, diversity, and inclusion and leverage the work by supporting nonprofits?
  • Does your organization provide employee engagement and volunteer opportunities? 
  • What are philanthropic focus areas best aligned with your company’s overall mission and goals? 
  • What are CSR trends with comparable companies or organizations?
  • How are you quantifying or measuring the impact of CSR initiatives? 

All of the above questions are important to consider as a company positioning itself as a leader in the modern age. The catch is, that CSR is no longer a one-person band. So, where do you start? At SchermCo, we collaborate with executives and CSR teams to create one strategic CSR vision specific to the company’s goals. This vision, or CSR strategy, serves as a road map for future D&I, community investment, and employee engagement priorities. From strategy creation to project management, we work alongside our partners to ensure sustainable implementation. 

Bottom line, gone are the days of donuts and food drives to retain employees. It takes informed value setting and mindful community and employee engagement. AKA: time and resources. In that, we can help. 

Stay in the know with us! Listen in for the latest CSR trends by visiting SchermCo’s Square Pizza Podcast where we interview Lydia Logan, Vice President for Global Education and Workforce Development, Corporate Social Responsibility at IBM.

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