In markets where everything is copied, intangibles (trademarks and reputation) become vital variables to stand apart from other market players A reputation whose construction also has changed lately since the company remains the primary actor, but no longer the only one. Today the contributions and interactions of clients, workers, suppliers and other stakeholders play an essential role and, at present, in a high percentage, these actors value the image of the company, laying the foundations for the company acquiring the excellent reputation, based on its CRS policy.
Those companies including a CSR policy increase legitimacy and widen acceptance, thus generating significant credibility and sympathy and guaranteeing a greater sustainability.
On the other hand, a better reputation for integrity and transparency increases the influence of the enterprise in the society and will gain the respect of opinion leaders.
The CSR is also a very useful instrument to reduce the potential risks associated with the activities developed by the companies.
The creation of codes of ethics and conduct, the establishment of standards responsible for the selection of suppliers or the incorporation of environmental or human rights considerations throughout the value chain, significantly reduce the probability of the companies incurring in malpractices and dramatically reduces the possibility of companies undergoing risks like negative publicity or boycotts to their products or services.
Millennials will be the bulk of the workforce of the future. According to forecasts, they will represent 75% of the workers in 2020. They will contribute with novel approaches, forcing the companies to rethink their Human Resources policies.
For millennials, the work is not a burden, but a scope of benefit and fullness. When they consider a job, the economic factor loses weight against variables such as suitability to their life project. They consider essential aspects such as flexible hours, possibilities for teleworking, autonomy, innovation, participation or transparency. They look for to join causes; they prefer companies committed to the community and the environment, and value those environments promoting multiculturalism and diversity.
In this context, CSR helps to design and offer novel and attractive proposals for this new profile of 21st. Century workers. The key to success lies in working well together, and in issues such as motivation, leadership, personal well-being, the professional growth or the pride of belonging.
Along with the recruitment and retaining of talent, a good CSR strategy has very positive effects on the degree of satisfaction and commitment of the workers with the company.
A satisfied worker is a more productive worker. For instance, the implementation of corporate volunteering schemes provides a wide range of benefits. Motivation and workers' skills and self-esteem improve, it fosters the pride of belonging to a company and the involvement and commitment of employees.
Substantial benefits in productivity and competitiveness may be gained through an adequate managing of diversity; It has been proven that multicultural and diverse teams leverage the perspectives from which reality may be analyzed, thus achieving higher efficiency in the search for solutions. The more different the ways of thinking are, the more varied the contributed answers will be.
Those companies that value their employees, providing them with continuous support (for instance with work-family reconciliation measures), even in tough economic times, turns out that their employees feel more motivated and encouraged, and this builds up employee loyalty, and hence they remain in the company and value their job.
Therefore, being socially responsible will automatically generate a higher productivity, since an improvement in the conditions for workers will also optimise its efficiency.
CSR fosters the development of innovative products and services. The dialogue with the different stakeholders, together with the search for solutions linked to sustainability and social impact objectives harnesses innovative product development thus allowing access to new market segments.
Environmental objectives that are undertaken by companies within the framework of their CSR actions include energy efficiency measures, recycling and other initiatives reducing consumption of natural resources. By doing so, besides diminishing its negative impacts on the environment, significant savings are obtained, thus cutting unnecessary costs.
A responsible behavior involves the implementation of good government ethical and transparent practices, having a positive effect on its credibility in the markets, hence improving its access to funding including financing conditions and cost.
In addition to tax advantages, socially responsible companies reduce the risk of contingencies, hence offering an added value that increases the value of its actions and reinforces the confidence of real and potential investors, for they will always prefer a socially responsible company.
The gradual inclusion of ethical investment funds in stock market indices, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, or the FTSE4GOOD index attracts both shareholders and investors.
Over the years it has been established that a CSR policy lined up with the strategic goals and internal corporate culture results in the improvement of the financial performance and a reduction in operating costs.
Consumers admire those companies that value their employees, develop social projects, worry about the environment and invest efforts against corruption. These are the reasons why CSR is a core element to secure customer loyalty. This is an upward trend considering the new consumer habits of generations to come.
There is also increasing citizen's concern about environmental problems. Concerns are also globalized and have a growing impact on the companies' products investment and buying criteria.
On the other hand, in addition to quality and price, the clients begin to demand information on the production conditions or the product's certifications, among other things. The loyalty of the clients is obtained by meeting their needs, starting with providing them with a way to convey their concerns and complaints and providing them with personalized attention.
Many are the prizes and labels emerging in matters of sustainability and corporate responsibility Such awards, in addition to publically acknowledge the efforts of companies in this regard, they also support the dissemination of the companies' initiatives through nonentrepreneurial forums. Additionally, they improve the relationship with its surroundings, obtain a greater credibility in the eyes of new consumers and users and increase the influence of the company in its sector.
A growing number of public administrations and bodies are incorporating sustainability and social responsibility considerations, such as evaluation and improvement criteria, to select the successful tenderers in public procurement procedures.
On the other hand, having the rating of a socially responsible company has become a requirement to compete in international markets. The international market demands compliance and respect for specific standards and certifications in social and environmental matters, and the number of regulations on this issue increases every day, at the same time that obtaining certifications is a demanding process.