Implementing CSR in developing countries
What is CSR? Can private companies in developing countries become more socially responsible.
CSR or Corporate Social responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. It usually describes a company's commitment to carry out its business in an ethical and responsible way. Companies get involved in their community to contribute to societal goals of a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically-oriented practices.
The main purpose of CSR is to give back to society and I’ll be looking at ways businesses can do that in a way where it is not just giving away but increasing its awareness in the community and without impacting negatively on their triple bottom line.
What are the benefits of good CSR?
To gain new customers
To increase sales
To improve brand image and loyalty.
To increase employee morale.
To raise awareness for the charity.
Every business must prioritise CSR to be effective in today’s world.
So how can this be done?
1.Volunteer in your local community by allowing your employees to donate their time in a worthy cause in the community. Some lawyers do this by offering Pro Bono services where people are represented for free in court cases. Employees could be allowed to go to schools, colleges and universities to offer their time. Women traders could be helped by some businesses by offering unbiased finance advice or training. This is a good way to spread your company's visibility.
2.Social Activities in the community Involve the community in a social event. This could be in the form of local football tournament. Running race for both men and women trips to special places. Event days where people can come specially to your organisation to learn what you do and how you impact your business makes. Engage your employees in non-work events that encourage more interaction between colleagues.
3.Environmental days -run awareness days and help people to know that your operations. Encourage your employees to help clean the environment and show you care. Donate to causes that take care of the environment locally. Encourage responsible waste management locally. Goods that have expired or short dates can be sold cheaply to people locally in reduce to reduce landfill pile-ups. In a developing country where lots of plastics are being used, collection and recycling of such plastics could be encouraged and a local recycling plant could be set up run by the locals. Involve the community and not just give resources which they might find difficult to maintain. A lot of foreign donors go to developing countries to set up or give amenities which the local find difficult to maintain because they were never consulted or involved.
4.Promote an ethical company culture by ensuring your employees are happy by making sure their voices are heard. Recruitment is a costly business and you want to avoid employee turnover as much as you can. Other prospective employees who do their research properly can easily pick these up. But you say: 'it’s a developing country and who cares'? You never know. Don’t allow the word go round that your company doesn’t care about their workers.
5.Study what other companies are doing to see how you can duplicate this in your environment or offer a better service. If unemployment is an issue for instance and other companies allow graduate taster days for 3 months, you may want to increase your to six months and add other perks. This not only gives the graduate a taste of work, but it also shows that as a company you care about people around you.
Can CSR work in a developing country, yes, I believe it can. It can help to improve society and reduce overreliance on the government. The business benefits, employees become more productive, and overall satisfaction with your business in the locality improves tremendously.
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Let's make Africa Great!
- United Kingdom
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- 30 Apr, 2021
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