Telling the truth about SME life today

7 reasons for any business to become socially responsible

1. Keep regulators at bay

For many organisations the initial impetus towards social responsibility is the desire to keep regulators at bay. Whether it is financial services organisations diverting traders bonuses to charitable donations, manufacturers of unhealthy food and drink products funding local childrens sports clubs, or extractive companies building schools and hospitals in areas where they mine and drill, there is no shortage of companies that see social responsibility initiatives as a way to stave off the threat of regulation.

In many ways it is a sensible corporate strategy. It is, after all, far better to choose the timing, scale and nature of your interventions than to have them imposed upon you. Equally, this plays an important social role. The charity donations, sports funding and public buildings provided by corporates are by and large gratefully received by the people who benefit from them. However, there are many other reasons for a company to want to become more socially responsible.

2. Motivate employees

Anyone who saw how excited our employees became about the Christmas bazaar would have seen at first hand the potential for social responsibility to build employee engagement and motivation. Indeed, a 2010 Hewitt & Associates study looked at 230 workplaces and found that the more a company actively pursues worthy environmental and social efforts, the more engaged its employees are.

Further evidence of this link came from The Society for Human Resources Management which found that employee morale is 55 per cent better at companies with strong sustainability programmes than at those with poor sustainability programmes. Add to this the fact that companies with highly engaged employees have three times the operating margin (Towers and Watson) and four times the earnings per share (Gallup) of companies with low engagement, and the case for socially responsible investment soon becomes highly compelling.

3. Attract the top talent

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers 88 per cent of millennials, the new generation entering the workforce, choose employers based on strong social responsibility values, and 86 per cent would consider leaving if their employers values no longer met their expectations. For a business such as 60K which relies on the quality of our agents to deliver outstanding service to our customers it is essential to attract the very best young people, and so it is vital that we contribute to the community in which they live.

4. Innovate to succeed

Whether it is running a Christmas bazaar, taking orphans horse-riding, making traditional Spring charms, it allows you to taking a break from your routines, meeting new people and engaging in a fresh experience.

Many organisations find this can provide a real spur to innovation. It helps them think of fresh ways of working, or new markets for products, or even entirely new product lines. Think of how automotive manufacturers have unearthed the demand for electric and hybrid cars, or how clothing manufacturers are involving consumers in product design try new activities with new people and the results can be surprising, and profitable.

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