Karen Milde, Reframe Marketing, Vancouver, BC, CYBF Mentor, www.reframemarketing.com

Every business that engages in corporate social responsibility sometimes faces challenges. The most common one is the conflict between the principle goal of the business and the concept of social responsibility. Should a business be engaged in something that falls outside of the basic business principle – making a profit? Understandably, there is doubt about whether consumers will actually appreciate good corporate behaviour or whether they will simply consider it a public relations campaign. However, if a business does engage in socially responsible activities, there are some direct business benefits that can be gained.

One benefit is that building a reputation for social responsibility can have a positive impact on customers and set you apart from the competition – making investors more willing to provide financial support. Also, employee recruitment and retention is much easier because a potential employee could perceive working for a progressive business as desirable. This results in lower recruiting costs, longer employee retention and loyalty and increased employee motivation and productivity. Moreover, social responsibility can help maintain good relationships with local communities making doing business easier. Finally, there are some environmental benefits to doing business in a socially responsible way. You will reduce resource use and waste, increase the use of renewable resources and promote the practice of recycling. In the end, social responsibility will save you money!

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