Click here to read Devonshires 2017 Social Responsibility Annual Report.
With the final quarter of the year on the horizon, many organisations are beginning to plan for 2019 and investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) should form part of their business strategy.
We hear a lot about the CSR activities of high-profile companies, but it’s becoming increasingly important for all organisations regardless of their size or sector.
From our own experience, we’ve seen that even small initiatives can make a big impact on local communities and good causes as well the environment and employee engagement.
Embedding social responsibility into our culture and values has resulted in a pipeline of events and initiatives which encourage people of all ages to get involved. Many of our employees take part in activities year after year, taking time out of their professional and personal lives to help others. Employees share their experiences with their colleagues and this is helping to get others involved too creating a ‘feel good’ factor across the firm.
As the world of work continues to change, this engagement is vital to help attract and retain employees, especially younger employees. As highlighted by Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2018, there’s been a ‘clear, negative shift in millennials’ feelings about business motivations and ethics’ and that ‘young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society—and to be responsive to employees’ needs’. According to the research, only a minority of millennials believe businesses behave ethically (48 percent vs 65 percent in 2017) and that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47 percent vs 62 percent in 2017).
As Devonshires’ CSR partner, monitoring how we’re delivering social value and making a difference is a key part of my job. It’s an ongoing process and as we too begin to plan for the year ahead, I’m thinking about what more we can do and how we can help our clients to do the same.
It’s important that we share our knowledge and ideas so that we keep the momentum going and continue to make a difference to society. At the same time, we can learn from each other to help improve employee engagement and develop a culture that helps to attract and retain our future leaders.
So as we look ahead, let’s make sure that CSR remains firmly on the boardroom agenda and part of our business strategies. In doing so, we can deliver positive change that not only contributes to society but strengthens our organisations.
Donna McCarthy is a Partner responsible for CSR and Trustee of the Devonshires Charitable Foundation.