The words “corporate social responsibility” have been a buzz in business for decades. But what do they really mean? And why do they matter?
Alessadra Cavalluzzi, author of A Million Dollars in Change, writes that, while CSR is coveted by employees, “fewer than 10 percent of midsize companies use their community involvement programs to drive employee engagement.” She notes that many of these business models don’t have the resources dedicated to manage this sometimes complex initiative.
Deloitte also released a survey in 2018 that was very clear in its tone and message: “Millennials’ opinions about business’ motivations and ethics, which had trended up the past two years, retreated dramatically this year, as did their sense of loyalty.”
This is bad news for business, and communities themselves. So what needs to change? Priorities.
Chief Executive for Corporate Purpose, or CECP, emphasizes the power of cross-sector partnership by “infusing the needs of the stakeholder — including communities, customers, employees, and investors — into core business strategies.” Their comprehensive interactive report makes a solid business case for CSR and what that looks like in today’s amorphous trends and forecasts. It focuses on topics like long-term strategies vs. short-term budget pressures, demographic shifts in the workforce, employee empowerment and equity, trust, and a call to action, just to name a few.
Corporate social responsibility is here to stay, and businesses need to place an authentic amount of energy and effort into developing their community footprint. Robert Morris University’s Covestro Center for Community Engagement is here to help guide this movement of authentically and strategically investing in society.