It’s no longer enough to do good, you have to market that you do good.
“88% of Millennials gravitated toward companies with pronounced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs...86% would consider leaving if their employer’s CSR no longer met their expectations.” - PricewaterhouseCoopers, 'Managing Tomorrow's People'
Your company is important to you. You want to keep people.
You want to keep people, and to keep them because they are motivated by your values, culture and leadership. Not because they need a job or because of a good salary. That doesn't matter as much as we thought anyway; studies have shown that there is very little connection between salary and job satisfaction, and a focus on salary can actually demotivate employees (Harvard Business Review).
PricewaterhouseCoopers makes it very clear: Have a very visible, out there, 'loud' CSR Program. But here’s the key. Many of you already have CSR Foundations. So what do you do?
It's no longer enough to do good, you have to market that you do good. It's about ensuring your CSR is reaching the right people - or you'll lose them.
Here are three points to keep in mind:
1) Market “Your Good” to Customers
Externally, that means your main customers. When they are about to purchase a product in your field, they want to buy it from your company. Further, you want them having an automatic 'feel good' inside when they see, hear or read your company name.
So they need to know about you. And they need your messages to integrate marketing and CSR. When they think of your company’s product, they also think of all the good you do. Both with your product, and in general.
Goodbye to the 'silo of CSR.' We now must have CSR Marketing and Marketing departments thoroughly engaged with your every CSR move.
2) Recruit New Employees with CSR in Your Language and Living
No more 'Here is a great role for you, and here all the benefits of your job here. Oh....and we have a CSR department.'
CSR is in your language from the minute you try to recruit. It’s about how your products are socially responsible. Your CEO and Leadership are transparent. Your company is honest, and has a specific brand halo around its integrity. And then, yes, it is about how much your employees can give, how much they can volunteer, how much product you give and how much your leadership endorses it, believes it, lives it.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard an employee say, 'I know we have a program, but my manager doesn’t take time off to volunteer, so it's subtly frowned upon.'
That doesn't work anymore, and it never worked.
3) Engage Your Marketing Department Now
Start infiltrating the idea now to higher-ups. You need a marketing budget for CSR. Secondly, you need to have the marketing team involving CSR in their major marketing initiatives. This isn’t just about promoting your latest volunteer event. It is that, and much more. It's about your product and brand messaging including CSR and the good you are doing at all points.
Promoting your CSR is not selfish. It's not aggrandizing. If you want your company to succeed, it's about self preservation. Don't do it and your competitors will. Then where will your team decide to work?