Why CSI is im­por­tant

Lesotho Times - - Corporate Social Invesment - To­tal - Be­yond cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity

COR­PO­RATE So­cial In­vest­ment (CSI) pro­motes a vi­sion of busi­ness ac­count­abil­ity to a wide range of stake­hold­ers, be­sides share­hold­ers and in­vestors.

Key ar­eas of con­cern are en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and the well­be­ing of em­ploy­ees, the com­mu­nity and civil so­ci­ety in gen­eral, both now and in the fu­ture.

The con­cept of CSI is un­der­pinned by the idea that cor­po­ra­tions can no longer act as iso­lated eco­nomic en­ti­ties op­er­at­ing in de­tach­ment from broader so­ci­ety. Tra­di­tional views about com­pet­i­tive­ness, sur­vival and prof­itabil­ity are be­ing swept away.

Most busi­ness lead­ers are acutely aware of the prob­lems and chal­lenges our so­ci­eties face. Hav­ing built a suc­cess­ful com­pany, many seek to give back to their com­mu­ni­ties. They vol­un­teer, do­nate, and fundraise. They strive, through their per­sonal ac­tions, to make the world a bet­ter place.

More and more, lead­ers recog­nise the op­por­tu­nity to in­volve their com­pany in chang­ing their com­mu­ni­ties. By in­volv­ing em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, and other stake­hold­ers, much more is achiev­able. And in the process, the com­pany can be­come stronger and more sus­tain­able than ever.

Com­pa­nies that ef­fec­tively en­gage in CSI ex­pe­ri­ence many ben­e­fits. They en­joy a pos­i­tive ef­fect on staff re­ten­tion, re­cruit­ment, and mo­ti­va­tion. They ex­pe­ri­ence in­creased cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and loy­alty, par­tic­u­larly when clients buy based on re­la­tion­ships, trust, rep­u­ta­tion or brand.

So­cially re­spon­si­ble com­pa­nies, large and small, have bet­ter rep­u­ta­tions, can bet­ter de­tect and re­spond to risk, and can an­tic­i­pate the needs of their stake­hold­ers with greater cer­tainty. When things go wrong, they are more quickly for­given for mis­takes.

As a side-ef­fect of their ef­forts, th­ese com­pa­nies can ex­pe­ri­ence op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies and cost sav­ings. They also have an im­proved abil­ity to in­no­vate, de­velop new prod­ucts to meet cus­tomer needs, and lev­er­age the cre­ativ­ity of their stake­hold­ers.

When you iden­tify your stake­hold­ers, their needs and their ex­pec­ta­tions, and you make gen­uine com­mit­ments to do them more good and less harm, they re­spond by mak­ing greater com­mit­ments to you. Th­ese com­pa­nies can ask for more from their em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, and in­vestors. And they get it.

Loyal cus­tomers make re­peat pur­chases, make big­ger pur­chases, and be­come prod­uct ad­vo­cates. Loyal em­ploy­ees ex­ert greater ef­fort and com­mit­ment to­wards cor­po­rate goals in which they strongly be­lieve. Top per­form­ers are less likely to go to com­peti­tors. This means lower turnover and train­ing costs, and in­tel­lec­tual cap­i­tal stays within the com­pany.

Many tra­di­tional busi­ness pro­cesses are aimed at mak­ing im­por­tant stake­hold­ers (namely share­hold­ers, cus­tomers, and em­ploy­ees) more sat­is­fied. But sat­is­fac- tion alone is not enough to keep cus­tomers com­ing back and to en­cour­age em­ploy­ees to give their best ef­fort. Loy­alty—whether some­one is com­mit­ted to you for the longterm—de­pends on much more than just sat­is­fac­tion. So­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity is pow­er­ful be­cause it can drive loy­alty di­rectly.

CSI of­ten re­sults in ef­fi­cien­cies and cost sav­ings. Com­pa­nies show­ing an in­ter­est in en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, for ex­am­ple, of­ten cut costs on en­ergy con­sump­tion or re­source use. Com­pa­nies that can cre­ate em­ployee-loy­alty by mak­ing the work­place more en­joy­able and by com­mit­ting to so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, do not need to ‘break the bank’ to con­vince their best tal­ent to stay.

Be­sides be­ing more ef­fi­cient, CSI of­ten pro­vides cost-ef­fec­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties, train­ing and in­no­va­tion. Cor­po­rate vol­un­teerism pro­grammes, a com­mon ini­tia­tive, are most com­monly touted as a way to ac­quire new skills and de­velop teams, but em­ploy- ees can gain new skills through a num­ber of CSI pro­grammes. And as the or­gan­i­sa­tion be­comes bet­ter in­te­grated with its cus­tomers and other stake­hold­ers, and as em­ploy­ees be­come more en­gaged with the com­pany’s goals, there is of­ten a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion.

We have also seen why cor­po­rate so­cial in­vest­ment is so im­por­tant: it can have sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on a com­pany’s stake­hold­ers, its goals, and its per­for­mance. It can de­liver strongly de­sir­able moral and busi­ness ben­e­fits. Com­pa­nies that en­gage in CSI ef­fec­tively do more than earn the sat­is­fac­tion of their stake­hold­ers. They earn their trust and their loy­alty. The bot­tom line? A stronger, more sus­tain­able com­pany in all ways: fi­nan­cially, eth­i­cally, en­vi­ron­men­tally, and so­cially.

Of course, noth­ing worth do­ing is easy and cor­po­rate In­vest­ment is no ex­cep­tion.

Source: var­i­ous

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.