Corporate Social Responsibility - Top Trends
Corporate Social Responsibility has proved to be a boon to a company’s brand image due to its contribution to making this world a better place. Corporate companies have the financial advantage of a larger capital. Hence, they can create a more significant impact on the economy than separate philanthropic individuals with limited funding capacity. They also have an extensive community reach and influence, giving them an advantage in bringing about social change. We witnessed colossal trends in corporate social responsibility that continued to evolve as times changed. However, some corporate social responsibility trends like philanthropy and sustainability are definitely here to stay.
The idea of corporate social responsibility gained traction in the 1970s, and its definition has been evolving. From corporate philanthropy being the only choice for organizations to fulfill corporate social responsibility to the evolution of new trends, the corporate world is always on a journey to find the next big thing. After the pandemic, the trends in corporate social responsibility started becoming innovative and ingenious. We witnessed a surge in CSR activities like virtual volunteering, sponsoring small businesses, green initiatives, DEI activities, and more.
Having a sense of purpose is a driving force in strengthening the social values of a corporate organization. Corporate Social Responsibility allows the company to fulfill its purpose and empower its employees, stakeholders, and customers. It helps build a better moral perception of the company and enhances client confidence. Moreover, CSR activities also drive press interest in the company. This can boost brand awareness and online popularity. With the changing world order, corporate social responsibility will soon be a non-negotiable driving factor in a company's growth.
Continue reading to learn about the top six most recent corporate social responsibility trends dominating the internet.
Virtual Volunteering for Employees
Employee engagement directly translates into happier customers and better work productivity. This even helps in retaining good talent in the organization. Contributing to rebuilding the community develops a sense of satisfaction among individuals.
Virtual volunteering is a CSR trend that has grown exponentially since the COVID-19 Pandemic. According to the Volunteerism statistics, virtual volunteering opportunities have increased from 17% to 29% in 2020. Volunteering virtually has the edge over offline volunteering due to its wider reach, location flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. While some activities, like plantation campaigns and calamity relief, cannot be conducted digitally, many only require a virtual communication medium. Employees of the organization volunteer by doing activities like tutoring online, providing mental health support, or helping to raise funds for crisis relief. Many companies opt for volunteering programs to make the experience fulfilling for their employees. Goodera is a global platform for companies to fulfill their CSR and sustainability goals. It has created impactful opportunities for employees across 200+ cities with 7 million+ employee volunteers. Its end-to-end assistance executes the campaigns, tracks the company’s social progress, and improves the net promoter score.
Supporting small businesses
Small businesses have limited resources and capital to conduct business operations. When they receive assistance from well-established organizations, it improves their quality of work and boosts their morale. Many large companies take up their corporate social responsibility to ensure the upliftment of small and medium-sized enterprises.
How some corporations gave small ventures a helping hand:
- After the pandemic outbreak, American Express offered cashback to its members shopping at small businesses.
- Businesses that advertised on Google and Facebook received ad credits.
- For up to 180 days, Dell Technologies offered 0% interest on new Dell equipment purchases to small businesses.
Trending issues like climate change have taken the internet by storm. To balance the harm induced, many companies have pledged to take the matter into their own hands and neutralize the lethalities caused to the environment. Large corporations have contributed to generating carbon footprints due to their business activities. While food joints like McDonald’s have cut energy costs by 25% after using energy-saving appliances, retail stores like Walmart opt for sustainable logistics by using 100% renewable energy sources in their supply chain operations.
Equality, Inclusion, and Diversity
Diversity and the feeling of inclusion are the needs of the hour. Equality is a fundamental human right that should never be overlooked. Companies have pledged to reduce social discrimination by hiring racial and ethnic minorities and ensuring non-biased remuneration for every employee regardless of their caste, creed, gender, or community. Gender equality has been the frontrunner in corporate social responsibility trends, where frequent campaigns are conducted to promote fair compensation for women. Companies that ensure that their employees are treated fairly have a better retention rate and higher employee satisfaction. Many companies even make these practices public by providing accurate data about their workforce. They even promote such causes by running equality campaigns on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
Organizations have made equality reforms by following practices like-
- Equal Promotional Rights
- Discouraging ageism
- Equal compensation for employees working in the same position.
- Not restricting candidature because of physical disabilities.
Localizing the business model
Local communities experience a threat from globalization. With cut-throat competition in the market of thriving large corporations, the local traders and business owners often get exploited due to a lack of opportunities and networks. This led to a localization trend in corporate social responsibility, where companies choose to uplift the locals as they move up the success ladder. Besides, getting local seems like a win-win for the corporate giants. Amidst the incessant struggle of companies to thrive in the big cities, they often forget the value that the small local areas hold. With limited data available about such localities, local traders and individuals can significantly assist in providing accurate strategies and reliable information that helps the organization make better decisions.
Stakeholders and customers appreciate businesses that foster transparency instead of indulging in shady practices. As part of the emerging trend in corporate social responsibility, companies have started disclosing operations along with a glimpse of how they work. Many investors resort to scanning public information about a company before making investment decisions. An honest business ethic is as important as disclosing green financial statements with flourishing profits. The organization can survive in the long run only if they are transparent enough for the stakeholders to make proper decisions.
These were the emerging trends in corporate social responsibility that have managed to make a commendable difference in society. Be it philanthropy, volunteering, equality campaigns, or environmental awareness, the corporate world is pivoting toward kindness for the greater good.