As we sip on our pumpkin spiced lattes, listen to Christmas music on Spotify and start to feel warm and tingly inside our thoughts could wander to these final days of 2016. It was an amazing year for CSR and one thing is for certain, we are living in a great era of Business for Social Responsibility in the USA. Companies who have great CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs are not only leaders of social good, they are profiting from it too.
NBCUniversal is a shining example of this. In their 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report they “…contributed a combined $521 million in cash and in-kind support to local and national charitable organizations that share our commitment to improving communities and enriching lives…”. In addition, “…more than 100,000 (out of 153,000) of our employees, their friends, and their families volunteered alongside our nonprofit partners…”. By using the powers of technology, Corporate Giving, storytelling, Employee Volunteerism and media platforms they hope to create meaningful ways to change lives for the better. Business for Social Responsibility is clearly a win based on this example! NBCUniversal has figured out that designing a CSR program around social good and business, creates the invaluable products of positive branding to customers, greater employee alignment rates and higher profits.
In 2015, NBCUniversal’s customer relationships increased by 666,000 an 85.9% improvement compared to 2014. To further drive home the point of profit, revenue increased 11.9% and operating cash flow increased 14.8% compared to 2014. Customers want to do business with companies who prioritize Business for Social Responsibility. It reassures the customer their dollars are helping for the social good, while their own needs are being met by NBCUniversal. It is a win win all the way around.
IBM’s Business for Social Responsibility in their CSR program.
So how much money did NBCUniversal have to invest in their employees to get these types of numbers? Great question! Just for employee training and development, they invested $204 million in 2015. You might think, this is way out of your price range. However, let’s say you only invest $1000 dollars into your employees, what type of return should you expect?
Let’s use IBM as an example. They started a CSR program called the Corporate Service Corps Program, in 2008. Business for Social Responsibility was a key factor in creating the program. This allowed employees to share their expertise with companies in developing countries. They initially invested $200 million into the program. IBM attracted the best talent globally for the technological needs of companies in developing countries, and created job security in these regions. This reduced employee turnover to below 1% for the overall program. As of earlier, this year their investment has returned over $600 million dollars back to the company, while opening up new markets for IBM to grow. This is an average of $3 dollars for every dollar put into an employee, that’s an Return On Investment (ROI) of 300%!
A little investment into your employees goes a long way!
If you look at IBM’s model your $1000 dollar initial investment could potentially give you an ROI of $3000 dollars! Even if you could get half or even a third of that return, you will be making an amazing impact to your employees and community. Not only that, you will be planting your own seeds for Business for Social Responsibility. NBCUniversal, IBM and many of the top companies in 2016 are using their resources to create a powerful lasting impact for social good. As a result of these companies prioritizing their Business for Social Responsibility, they are developing into new markets and increasing their own profits. Further, their customers build an awareness of CSR Programs, invest their dollars, and feel secure in doing long term business with socially responsible companies.
So, as you sit down this Holiday season, next to family and friends, with the feeling of appreciation and gratitude, ask yourself, “What can I do in 2017, to make my business more profitable, while serving my employees and community?”
I bet your pumpkin spiced latte will taste a little sweeter on your lips, as ideas of how to incorporate Business for Social Responsibility dance in your head. Happy Holidays!
Find out how Involve is helping companies create Business for Social Responsibility through their online platform. Request A Demo today and start establishing your company’s credibility!