Use CSR to attract and keep staff
In Part 4 of our 4 part review of CSR, we review how the environmental outlook of your business can help to attract and retain staff as well as winning new customers – and how the small steps taken by a large number of small businesses can make a big impact.
As an Entrepreneur you are aware of the financial contribution F&B businesses make to the economy in terms of job creation, innovation and boosting the lcoal economy through sales and taxes. But increasingly, business owners may also wish to add a further ethical dimension through what is known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). IN three previous articles we have explained what CSR is and how you can use and promote it within your F&B enterprise.
As a quick recap, this is how you can use CSR to benefit your business.
CSR can be demonstrated in many ways, including saving the environment, enhancing peoples business skills, improving the work-life balance that a company’s staff experience. Businesses in general are not adverse to reducing their negative environmental impact and/or providing products and services which reduce pollution and waste as this is both benefical to th business bottom line as well as enhancing our environment. F&B owners are also aware that government policy makers, their customers, and staff are demanding more than just an economic focus on social responsibility.
In your normal business practices you may already be doing your bit to help cut back on for example transport congestion and carbon emissions by taking the bus or sharing a car. You have low energy ligh bulbs, reuse and recycle glass and plastic containers, and have reduced water usage to a minimum.
This style of approach to CSR is popular with businesses as it can both assist the environment as well a reduce overheads. And you can extend your environmental credentials simply by continuing to reduce your energy consumption, by specifying energy saving or energy efficient devices, and then using these more efficiently. So you are able to proclaim a low carbon footprint...
The next step in greening your operations is to calculate your actual carbon footprint so you can see how much pressure your business puts on the worl environment, and can track how much environmental benefit you actions have. Such a diagnostic approach enables you to gain an understanding of how much carbon dioxide your business activities create – and reduce your energy consumption.
Technology is pivotal to enhancing your CSR credentials. Audio and web conferencing as well as emailing cuts down on journeys, and shutting down computers and other electrical equipment can also benefit the environment. Leaving a PC monitor on all night wastes enough energy to run a microwave for 15 minutes, according to the Carbon Trust.
There is online software which allows you to store documents electronically, cutting down on paper use- and we have an article on cloud computing to assist you. These workspaces are like virtual meeting rooms, allowing colleagues to access information relating to any given project in one place. Using recycled paper and packaging can also help you to reduce your carbon footprint.
The world of business is changing; and while a majority of your guests currently don't care about CSR and the environment, their awareness will increase and there will be a strong and growing demand for all businesses to consider the environment and to promote CSR projects.
For support there are a number of government linked Agencies to assist, Singapore Compact for Corporate Social Responsibility is just one of many in ASEAN and Australiasia.
And while such moves currently are voluntary, there is more and more government pressure to force businesses to become more environmentally and socially aware, such as carbon footprint labelling (above) or in reporting to stock exchanges on CSR.
Another step is to communicate your commitment to CSR to, and through, your team. For example have water and energy reduction targets and then post the results on the staff noticeboard- this is both great for profitability and for the environment as well as enhancing staff morale.
Seek out ethical suppliers of coffee, cocoa, and other foods; and then tell your team you only support suppliers who have a strong focus on responsible sourcing. There are many examples of how a strong CSR commitment has made it easier for businesses to attract talent and then retain them. Companys note repeatedly in surveys that support for CSR enables them to retain employees easily. Ethical companies such as Bodyshop have made a virture of their environmental credentials. They are able to trade this into both higher margins as well as a stronger ability to attract and retain well trained and committed staff.
Have you thought how much you commitment to CSR could influence your team members seeking to work for you, and your abiluity to retain people.
It’s important SMEs get the right support from the outset. The good news is, there is a range of expert support and information out there to ensure home workers get off on the right foot. And a commitment to enhances CSR is both good for your bottom line, good for your business and great for the environment.
Its simple; so start today.