4 steps to successful CSR strategy formulation and implementation

Well-structured and thoughtfully planned corporate social responsibility programs benefit organisations in India on two major fronts: first, they get to demonstrate trusted leadership in their space and second, their customers are inclined to buy their products and services when they get to know the social efforts of these organisations.

However, CSR programs that have not been strategically crafted tend to backfire and make the organisations look insincere in their efforts. So here is this post that is put together to help organisations that are relatively new to corporate social responsibility in India and do not have much idea about how to begin with their CSR commitments:

Identify the focus

First things first, an organisation must decide what the program is going to achieve. Organisations that get involved in too many causes often find it difficult to manage their corporate social responsibility programs; moreover, they look insincere in their approach towards making a positive change in the lives of program’s recipients. So, organisations should ideally focus on only one or two major causes; this would help the organisations become identified with those causes; in addition, the recipients are more likely to receive more focused attention.

Figure out the costs

Corporate social responsibility in India (or, elsewhere) entails financial considerations on many levels. Organisations, thus, need to determine how it’s going to run the programme: whether it’ll donate materials for the cause, or encourage its employees to participate or donate money for the cause.

Organisations are also increasingly tying-up with vocational education and training companies that can help them with the formation and implementation of the whole CSR strategy; this further adds to the costs. But, they essentially generate a lot of value out of this engagement with the companies that specialize in CSR domain and can guide their clients so they can get the most out of their investments in their CSR programs.

Thought the purpose of a CSR program is essentially benefiting the recipients, businesses must analyze the costs involved.

Get your employees on-board

Organisations wherein employees get involved in the CSR initiatives are likely to get the most out of their spending and efforts.

Employees can reach out to less-privileged sections of the community around, and help them with their day to day problems. They can be encouraged to reach out to NGOs / orphanages and teach kids there for a couple of hours every week or so. Marketing staff of an organisation can help an NGO with promotional stuffs; the IT staff can also extend its support to schools around by fixing their computers. Professional trainers can be hired to reach out to the unemployed youth and skill them for different roles for prominent industries including retail, insurance, and telecoms.

In a nutshell, there can be many ways through which a smart organisation can get its employees engaged with its CSR program.

Communication with the stakeholders

Smart organisations should intelligently communicate their social contributions to their stakeholders who primarily include its customers, business partners, employees, and community. For this, it can leverage mediums like press releases, websites, networking events, and social media sites; this strategically crafted communication would ensure that the organisation is positively viewed in the society.

The corporate social responsibility landscape in India is in a transition phase. Companies are increasingly realizing their role in the communities they operate in. With tie-ups with leading  vocational education and training experts, many organisations are reaching out to the unskilled youth of their region to train them for employment and thus, help them support their families. For more incisive insights on the CSR in India, please read our other articles.