Does Your Firm’s Corporate and Social Responsibility Promise Stack Up?

In 2022 as the planet hurtles towards an uncertain future, you can bet your bottom dollar that it matters to a great deal of your employees that you take your corporate and social responsibilities seriously.

But what does that really mean in practice?

In this article we’re going to consider the three main areas of CSR and how you can ensure you’re pledging achievable and meaningful outcomes that will help you to attract and retain a workforce of brilliant global citizens.

Let’s start with an area of CSR that none of us can afford to ignore. Environmental responsibilities. 

The most obvious benefit to having a strong environmental pledge is that you’ll play your part in making sure the planet remains a habitable place for generations to come! It doesn’t get much bigger than that!

But on a more local level if your firm works to reduce its carbon footprint and encourage your employees to do the same, you’ll benefit from being a more attractive place to work, a more attractive firm for clients who also care, having reduced waste costs and an enhanced brand image.

But be wary of greenwashing (using all the right lingo to showcase your eco commitment but failing to back that up with true action.) You’ll need your firm’s environmental commitment to really stack up and here’s a few ideas of how you can do just that.

  • Consider inviting in specialist carbon footprint auditors to help you understand the areas in which your firm generates the most environmental harm and to offer you useful advice about how you can reduce that impact with simple switches. Involve your staff in this process as much as you can.
  • Incentivise your staff to make better environmental decisions themselves; make sure the car park has electric charging points, banish plastic cups at the water cooler and adopt the Cycle to Work scheme.
  • Read up and learn about how having a diverse workforce will contribute positively to a more sustainable planet. Doughnut Economics, The Sunday Times Bestseller from Kate Raworth on 7 ways to think like a 21st century economist is a great book to start with.

Now let’s take a look at the social element of your corporate responsibilities. 

This is where you consider the moral and ethical implications of the business that you do and the way in which you do it.

If you’re purely in business to make the absolute maximum amount of money, there’s no doubt that you’ll be trampling on those that work for you and with you in your bid to make it to the top. And once you get to the top, you’ll have no support system in place to keep you there.

Sustainable success is built on reputation and to build one of those and some great relationships that will stand you in good stead to remain on top of your game for as long as possible, you’ll need to establish, showcase and hold dear a great set of values.

Profit can run alongside purpose and you can run a thriving and successful firm as well as looking after the people who are impacted by your work.

Taking the time to really understand what you want your firm to give back to communities such as your employees, your stakeholders, your neighbours etc is a great investment of your time. Make sure that anyone who comes into contact with your business can see these values reflected in everything that you do.

Finally let’s look at your philanthropic responsibility….

It’s brilliant that you’re turning over huge numbers, your clients are happy and your employees are well paid. But are you giving back wherever you can?

Think about supporting local charities and pledging to support staff who choose to do the same.

Maybe look at holding a team away day in a local hospice or school contributing manpower to garden or paint. Your team will be stronger as a result and you’ll be able to showcase the heart behind your business which will enhance your brand image. Plus it’s just a really good thing to do, don’t you think?

‘You’d be amazed to learn just how much the new generation of accountants care about the CSR commitment of potential employers. This is the generation who are going to have live with the impact of the decisions that we make today and they are not afraid to make suggestions and ask questions at interview about what you do to give back as a firm. So rather than waiting for the question and stumbling over the answer, why not get your CSR in tip top shape and be ready to blow the candidates that you want working in your firm, away with your commitment to do good as an organisation.’

Garry Howling, MD

To work with a niche practice recruiter who can advise you on every aspect of your employee value benefits; all the way from the basic legal rights of employees through to the perks and embedded procedures that make a real difference to whether a candidate chooses to work with you, contact the best. Contact Public Practice Recruitment Ltd. 


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