Corporate Social Responsibility in 7 steps

Corporate social responsibility is a broadly defined concept. After all, the term socially responsible can cover a whole range of subjects. At its core, CSR is about combining social motives with financial objectives. It is therefore important to realise that the company’s core activities and processes must be designed accordingly. CSR is about a future vision for the entire company, not a temporary project. The importance for society is therefore always central. Companies that do business in this way are actively involved in social issues and take their responsibility. Follow the steps below to introduce CSR in your company.

Step 1. Determine your starting point

To know where you want to go with your business, you must first understand where you currently stand. In this first step, look at the business processes and stakeholders. These have the greatest impact on the company’s daily operations. Analyse the business processes and note which aspects are already sustainable and which can be improved. When conducting this study, consider three aspects: social factors, economic factors and the environment. Doing this will not only give you more insight into your business, but it will also give you a new perspective on things you may never have thought about before.

Step 2. Translate your vision of the future into a mission and vision statement

Once you have an overview of the current state of your business, you need to determine which aspirations you want to fulfill. First do this for the entire organization, and then translate the vision of the future into an overarching mission and vision. These are leading in everything the company does. You can always look at other companies for inspiration.

Step 3. Set concrete goals

After determining the direction for the future, this vision must be translated into goals. These can be either short or long term. Make the goals as concrete as possible and look at the different departments and processes within the organization. Which ones can you make more sustainable with small adjustments? And for which ones should changes be made on a large basis? In order to map these goals as completely as possible, you involve employees from different departments. They all look at the organization from a different angle and can surprise you with creative goals and solutions. Structure the goals by breaking them down by topic.

The risks and guidelines for CSR differ from sector to sector so it can sometimes be difficult to determine what works for your business. Therefore, use existing tools and guidelines when setting goals.

Step 4. Make action plans

The objectives can now be translated into action plans. Make these plans SMART so that the chances of success are greatest. When creating the action plans, take into account the existing guidelines in your sector. Action plans may include minor adjustments, such as instituting a diversity policy. However, achieving some goals will require major investment projects, such as a transition to clean energy. Create a timeline for implementing the action plans. Base these on immediate feasibility and the investment required to implement larger action plans.

Step 5. Create involvement

For CSR to succeed, all parties within an organization must be familiar with the new objectives and vision. Motivate employees by letting them think along and sharing their ideas. They often have a different view on daily processes and activities, which enables them to come up with creative ideas. In addition, they communicate the company’s vision on a daily basis.

Step 6. Measurement is knowledge.

And evaluation is the key to success. Compare the current situation with the set goals and analyze what went well, and what could have been better. Also ask yourself if the goals you set were logical with the information you now have. Sometimes an action plan needs to be reformulated to achieve a goal. When doing so, ask for feedback from the employees working with the action plan. They often have the best understanding of the situation.

Design an annual social report in which the results achieved are published. The performance achieved should give a clear picture of the current position of the company. Include what social goals the company wants to achieve in the future.

Step 7. Share your success

Corporate social responsibility is widely encouraged these days. Communicating the results achieved to those involved therefore has positive effects. Sustainable entrepreneurship leads to involved personnel, a loyal newspaper circle, and reaching new markets. Therefore, to achieve optimal results, it is essential to communicate the company’s views and vision to stakeholders. Do this by campaigning and distributing the annual report.

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