Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs can only work properly once companies partaking in these kinds of programs recognize and accept their responsibility to be good corporate citizens. Although some companies have not yet understood the importance of running effective CSR programs, other companies like TCC, the largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer in the United States, are successfully doing so. TCC runs a nationwide initiative called Culture of Good. Within this program TCC strives to make a difference by giving back to every community where the company does business. And while doing so, they also keep their employees happy and engaged. Here are a few guidelines from TCC’s director of customer and employee relations, Ryan McCarty, on how to create and run an effective CSR program:
1. Build a foundation based on doing good and core values
According to McCarty, in order to make sure that a CSR program doesn’t end up becoming an afterthought, it is essential to build a foundation where “doing good” blends in with the rest of the company’s core values. When “doing good” is at the forefront of a company’s culture, a CSR program and its sense of cause quickly become an extension and a direct reflection of the company’s intentions and end goals.
2. Engage your employees
An effective CSR program should not just partake in any random charity available. It must take into consideration the company’s employees and their interests. Supporting initiatives that your employees are already passionate about will make the CSR programs more personal to employees and thus will truly engage them in the program’s course of action.
3. Engage your customers
Not only should an effective CSR program hone in on its employee’s interests, it should also aim to engage its customers. For example, an efficient CSR program should take into consideration where the company is conducting its business. Are these impoverished areas that could benefit from community aid? Customers always appreciate when a company puts their needs before anything else. Hence taking that extra step of figuring out what other way the company can help its customers, aside the service it already provides, will be a great way to engage customers to join the CSR program’s initiative and help it flourish.
4. Gather feedback
The only way a CSR program can improve is through regular, quality feedback. Constantly encouraging employees, customers, and anyone else involved to share their thoughts and reactions regarding the program. The more useful feedback, the better understanding the company can get in terms of what’s working for the CSR program and what can be improved.