CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the many ways that businesses seek to operate in ways that bring positive benefits to society and the environment. Here are some reasons for South African Companies to play close attention to their CSR initiatives.
B-BBEE codes encourage companies to participate in economic upliftment and the facilitation of socio-economic transformation.
In the South African context, CSR means many different things to different people. Programs range from industry-led upskilling and youth job creation initiatives spanning corporate and government stakeholders to social outreach through existing community projects on an ad hoc basis. Focus areas for smaller projects are often the upliftment of local communities, childcare, education and alleviating hunger and poverty. Whether your company is investing millions in CSR or doing your best to make a small difference – here’s why you should keep it up.
1. It’s good for the economy.
Companies have a huge role to play in bolstering our economy through social upliftment, environmental awareness and job creation. This could be as simple as providing flushing toilets to a school, building a classroom or going full-Oprah and setting up an academy. Education is the basis of economic empowerment, creating the successful people of tomorrow. Investing in clean energy projects, recycling and upcycling clean up our world creates jobs and could eventually provide an alternative to our outdated power infrastructure.
2. Help a little bit because every little bit helps.
CSR doesn’t have to be a big-budget affair. Unless your company has the funding, resources and infrastructure to run large-scale projects. Find ways that your company and your employees could contribute to local causes that are aligned with your business. Are there community organisations working to uplift people in the vicinity of your business? School feeding programs, animal welfare, job creation, beach clean-ups? How can your company and your employees contribute to these?
3. It’s good for your brand, and your bottom line
Customers and potential customers are more likely to identify positively with your brand and buy your products and services if you are a socially responsible organisation. Building brand loyalty through CSR is a sustainable way to win and keep business. Building trust in local communities and forming long-term relationships with suppliers and partners enrich your business network. Positive sentiment towards your brand creates more opportunities to market to a receptive audience.
4. B-BBEE and CSR
Companies aren’t legally obligated to engage in CSR activities, although the B-BBEE codes encourage companies to participate in economic upliftment and the facilitation of socio-economic transformation. This can be as simple as choosing smaller suppliers, running a small internship program or providing upskilling and development to smaller partner companies.
5. It’s good for employee retention, motivation and attracting talent.
Employees who find purpose in their work are more productive, less absent and more likely to go the extra mile.
CSR initiatives give your employees a place to express their interest in an participate in social and community projects that they identify with. CSR is an avenue to finding purpose through work. Giving your employees a way to pay it forward will improve retention by engaging them at a deeper level. Companies with active CSR programs are also attractive employers for potential employees and can sway their decision to work for you rather that your competitor. Employees who find purpose in their work are more productive, less absent and more likely to go the extra mile.
DLK Group is passionate about the communities we live and work in. We support organisations that seek to improve the mental and physical resilience of their beneficiaries. To this end, DLK Group actively supports the Nantes Athletic Club www.nantesac.co.za and the Friends of Valkenburg www.friendsofvalkenburg.co.za
Written By Belinda Kovachi