Demonstrating a commitment to CSR is now an integral part of business life, however, some employees are too busy to bring on-board. Changing behaviours, adapting processes and on-boarding employees can prove tricky, so a social value monitoring tool has developed ten top tips to create social value buy-in from all stakeholders.
Social value is often generated by businesses and organisations funding charitable projects, launching a foundation, organising volunteering projects and introducing sustainability initiatives.
Impact Reporting, a CSR reporting tool which streamlines the way firms can capture and monitor pro social activity, believes there are ten steps to onboarding staff to help them appreciate the value of CSR.
Chris Farrell, Managing Director of Impact Reporting, recommends that businesses should prioritise social value by:
1. Letting employees choose charities – While having a ‘charity of the year’ is the norm in corporate circles, asking staff to nominate a chosen charity can help make this process more democratic. Allow staff to vote from a list and partner with the winning charity – this will help with engagement.
2. Developing employee initiatives – Organise lunchtime cycling, weekend volunteering and recycling projects for all to get involved. Open the floor to suggestions, allowing employees to make recommendations that are important to them. The most popular ideas are often the most successful.
3. Building social value into client contracts – Insist that partner organisations prioritise social value too. This is the norm in public sector contracts and is becoming more familiar across a wider range of sectors. It is a sure-fire way to help organisations stand out in business circles.
4. Leading from the top – The most successful CSR-focused businesses have CEOs and MDs who are active and committed to a social value mission statement. To show how dedicated a business is to the cause, encourage the CEO/MD to get involved so they become an example for all staff.
5. Adopting a framework – The time is now to be serious about CSR. Paying lip-service won’t give businesses the desired results. Set real objectives with fixed timeframes, and work towards those.
6. Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Benchmark achievements against 17 global goals set by the UN in 2015 to achieve a more sustainable future and address global challenges related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. These will help drive growth, attract capital and focus on purpose and offers accountability and assessment.
7. Gamifying the creation of social value – Inspire employees to do more and get competitive about it. For example, set up a leader board and offer prizes as incentives. Motivate employees by appealing to their competitive nature.
8. Starting with the basics – Transforming a business’s attitude to social value won’t be an over-night process. It’s OK to start small and scale up. Get rid of plastics, put recycling bins in place, ditch cars, use public transport or walk into work.
9. Listening to stakeholders – Align with the organisation’s mission, vision or values. To truly embed social value into a business, it needs to harmonise. It’s about working towards a culture whereby social impact is created naturally and fluidly.
10. Working with pro-social companies – Be open to partnering with social enterprises, charities, or other ‘good’ companies at all stages of negotiating contracts. Learn from each other, offer solutions and network with likeminded people. Move forward, together.
To maximise social impact, it’s essential that pro-social and pro-environmental activities engage and educate colleagues. To aid the process, logging all data needs to be quick and simple as it builds a measurable picture of the organisation’s commitment.