Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is hardly a new concept for businesses, but it is quickly becoming a pivotal component for success. For many businesses, the primary reason to become socially responsible is quite simple; it is the right thing to do. Originally, this sentiment was the driving factor for a company’s community and social engagement. However, in recent years, consumers and employees have put pressure on companies to engage with their communities and society as a whole. The outcome is a win/win for local communities and charitable organizations, as well as business. A strong CSR strategy helps:
- ATTRACT THE RIGHT TALENT: Businesses have entered a period of high competition for labor. This means that being more engaged and socially aware is no longer just the right thing for businesses to do, it is critical to attracting the best talent. The workforce is beckoning for companies to take a more “hands-on” approach with their corporate social responsibility while reacting to the continuous additions of societal issues. While pay and benefits will always play pivotal roles in acquiring talent, addressing goals such as community engagement, social awareness and reducing the carbon footprint is essential to captivating new talent. Feedback from the millennial workforce suggests that most candidates are hesitant to take a job from a company with weak CSR practices. Good talent management strategies acknowledge that addressing these issues not only brings new employment but also helps companies retain their existing employee base within a purpose-filled environment.
- ATTRACT INVESTORS: Companies and their leaders have an obligation to shareholders to drive value. Investors today are looking to make Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). There is a rapidly growing trend of investor sentiment around Environmental Social Corporate Governance (ESG) and companies are viewed favorably by investors for making it a priority. While individuals will not solely invest in SRI until it is ubiquitous, they are dedicating more of their investment portfolio to companies that meet their ESG criteria, making it a trend that should not go unnoticed. In fact, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, “Globally, sustainable investing assets in the five major markets stood at $30.7 trillion at the start of 2018, a 34 percent increase in two years.”
- ATTRACT CUSTOMERS: Social engagement is not only the right thing to do, but it is also becoming critical to engage new customers. According to the Cone Communication CSR study, 87% of consumers said they would buy a company’s product because that company advocated for an issue they cared about. As more companies move to incorporate this responsibility into their business plans, they are discovering that CSR embodies more goals for remedying societal issues than in the past. Today, a company hoping to participate in CSR must consider contributing towards a wide variety of goals and must react to the rapidly growing awareness of the impact firms have on the communities in which they do business.
At The Northridge Group, Corporate Social Responsibility is a high priority. Our aim is to pay it forward and stay connected to our community and the world around us in meaningful ways. Highlights include:
- Recently, we co-hosted a “Communities in Schools” mentoring event for the Chicago Public School (CPS) system called “Inspiring Futures.” This event exposed CPS middle school students, many of whom had never been to a downtown office, to various careers and allowed them to participate in a mentoring program with members of the Northridge team.
- We also participate in a corporate work-study program with a Chicago-area high school that serves students with limited economic resources. Every year a student from this program enriches our Rosemont office by joining our team and helping us out in many ways. In return, Northridge offers the student the opportunity to earn tuition for their college-prep education and gain valuable work experience.
The Northridge Group is also proud to be WBENC-certified and to promote the empowerment of women in the workplace. This has been a goal for The Northridge Group since it was co-founded by Therese Fauerbach in 1999. Therese lives and breathes her approach as a successful leader who has devoted time to others while balancing a career and continues to help mentor future generations.
This year, The Northridge Group hopes to expand our social outreach in all three of our office locations. Our new Atlanta office offers new opportunities for our team to continue The Northridge Group’s legacy in a new community. We also plan to introduce new initiatives to support societal goals such as incentivizing mass transit use to protect the environment and enabling a virtual workforce to lower our carbon footprint.
Stay tuned to our Corporate Social Responsibility page to keep up with our progress.