This Earth Day, more and more businesses will be taking their focus away from their core business to think about their Corporate Responsibility. Originally termed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it can also be referred to corporate conscience, corporate citizenship or responsible business, and is simply the responsibility a business has to give back, particularly to those people and places that it affects.
Nowadays businesses also recognise that CSR provides a source of great content and can be a very effective form of marketing, when done correctly for the right reasons. People recognise brands that do something for the common good. But it is not always clear to business leaders where and how they should give back. Choosing a cause to bestow your CSR on can be difficult as there are so many worthy causes out there.
Which one should you back?
To be authentic and relevant, choose a cause that matches your business.
For some companies this may be easy, they may have a brand image that is directly in line with a particular issue they support, for example outdoor clothing companies such as Patagonia supporting environmental responsibility projects and local sherpas working in the environments where their clothes are used. However not all businesses have such a visible link. Think about the industry you work in, and the way it impacts the environment and society, and if there is anything you can do to offset or support these impacts. Also think about something that aligns with your business mission and company values. Whether it is raising awareness of mental or physical health, supporting those less fortunate, fighting against an illness, sponsoring children or minorities, or raising awareness of inequality, make sure that the cause naturally aligns with your company’s beliefs and goals.
When you choose a cause, find something that aligns with the business mission and company values. Whether it is raising awareness of mental health, fighting against cancer, sponsoring a food drive for the needy, make sure that the cause naturally aligns with your company’s beliefs and goals.
Think about the cause where you can make the biggest impact.
Do your research to find an issue/cause where your company can make the biggest impact. When you’re looking at charities and non-profits to support, make sure you research them properly, think about using tools such as Charity Navigator. Make sure you research the organisation’s history, its values, financial health, transparency, accountability, etc. Your goal should be to find a cause where you can make the biggest impact with the lowest cost.
Find something that your employees can relate to and get involved with
It’s not enough to move your customers with support for your charity. You should get your employees involved right from the beginning. Research has revealed that employees are happier doing their job when they get the chance to make a positive impact at work. Remember that giving need not be only in dollars, this can also take the form of volunteering, and offering time, support and/or knowledge.
Our CSR support
Here at LHH Gulf, we are keen to get involved and support those around us. We approach our CSR strategy in two ways. We support a global programme as part of the Adecco Group, which supports Win4Youth, where staff and clients ‘tackle sporting challenges in order to tackle employability’. The strategy is multi-faceted as it works incredibly well as an employee engagement programme, encourages healthy lifestyles, and ensures donations for disadvantaged youth.
Closer to home, the LHH Gulf team support the RAEY Foundation through parent company Leadership Coaching Solutions. The organisation was brought to our attention by Mila Tutor, who was originally one of our consultants and very passionate about the cause. This child and family development association enables individuals or companies to sponsor children’s educations in Ethiopia. We’re incredibly pleased to report that last year we managed to sponsor 15 children’s educations, whilst this year we have already sponsored 5, and plan to increase this to 15 again by the end of the year.
We can’t emphasise enough how easy this is, so this Earth Day, take a moment to think how could make a difference, and don’t forget to check out the RAEY Foundation, whether for sponsoring a child’s education, or volunteering.