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Ten Ways to Make a Collaborative CSR Strategy

Ten Ways to Make a Collaborative CSR Strategy
08 February 2022
 

Whilst it’s commonplace for organisations to have their own Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, many overlook the power of a collaborative approach with their supply chain and service providers. For maximum possible results, are two companies better than one?

Jen Eastwood, PR & Marketing Manager at Expeditious Services, explains how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace.

Jen has over eight years of experience in marketing, spanning several hospitality venues and with an agency before setting up her own digital marketing business. Jen first started working with Expeditious in 2019 as a freelance copywriter, going on to accept a full-time role in 2020. Jen oversees all copy, branding, and marketing across Expeditious and their sub-brands. Her responsibilities include writing all tenders, content marketing, copywriting, social media marketing, strategy, website management, PR, brand representation and development, corporate social responsibility, internal and external communications.

 

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Picture: a photograph of Jen Eastwood Image Credit: Expeditious Services

 

From environmental incentives to employee wellbeing, CSR is encouraging businesses to examine the impact they are having on their clients, colleagues, and community.

These are some of my thoughts on how to achieve a successful collaborative CSR strategy:

 

1. Exit KPIs

 

At the point of a new service provider taking over an outsourced contract, “exit KPIs” are often presented by the incumbent for a clear picture of the account they are inheriting. This creates an ideal opportunity to examine what efforts have been made with the incumbent and their success, giving insight into what is needed for the new service provider to make improvements. At this time, both service provider, FM and client can create a collaborative strategy across the entire site/account.

 

2. Discuss CSR During Onboarding

 

Transitioning employees under TUPE or recruiting through a recruitment drive is an impactful time for a company to engage a team in CSR activities. Throughout the onboarding process, company values, and initiatives can be regularly discussed, new ideas pitched as well as leaving the door open for team members to get involved and suggest their own ideas. Getting engagement from employees and setting the tone of CSR in the workplace from day one leads to greater success throughout their contract.

 

3. Making CSR Part of Budgets and Initiatives

 

From the initial negotiation and costings stages, CSR should be made a part of a contract. Factoring in a set budget or resource allowance for the implementation of CSR strategies prevents costs from being an excuse further down the line. If they are effectively planned and factored into overall initiatives, they are more likely to happen and be fulfilled.

 

4. Environmentally Mindful Recruitment

 

When recruiting for roles in specific locations, it’s good to be mindful of how far teams are travelling. This helps to reduce carbon with unnecessarily long journeys, where alternative labour could be found nearer. Recruiting within a set radius also helps to support local communities with employee wages being spent in their local economies.

 

5. Championing Positive Employee Welfare

 

Making positive health and wellbeing an everyday occurrence within the workplace benefits employees, and employers – better moral, better focus, better engagement, reduced sickness/absences, and reduced staff turnover.  This is particularly important for shift workers, lone workers, and remote workers to keep them active and involved in the company. Example initiatives to support teams include, step count leaderboard, wellbeing check-ins, hydration reminders and nutritional support.

 

6. Working Towards Industry and Professional Accreditations

 

Most businesses are required to complete ISO and British Standard qualifications to verify they operate and maintain a certain quality, especially when it comes to tendering for new business. Whilst many choose to do this independently of their supply chain, it is possible for a more collaborative effort to be made in meeting these, especially where is are overlaps and support can be given. Accreditations such as 14001 for environmental management, can indicate the standard of CSR efforts being made in some key areas.

 

7. Working Towards Social Value Accreditations

 

Unlike industry/professional accreditations, social value accreditations are often driven by an organisations’ own values or business impact, such as Slave Free Alliance (tackling modern slavery) or BCorp (building sustainable economies). Organisations could request their supply chain have such accreditations before onboarding, as a way of increasing the standards of those around them in line with what is most important to their own values. These accreditations are an impactful opportunity to upskill a team, improve standards, raise awareness, and collaboratively build a better future.

 

8. Creating Opportunities for Marginalised Groups

 

Working together, businesses can encourage equal opportunities recruitment. They can create a plan specifically seeking to employ those from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds, such as disabilities, LGBT+, ethnic minority backgrounds, long-term unemployed, ex-offenders. Companies who have already embraced this attitude and give employees a fair chance, (e.g. Timpsons), are seeing benefits on their workplace diversity, culture and staff retention, as well as long-term improvements for those communities.

 

9. Dedicating Resources

 

Donating resources to CSR initiatives doesn’t just have to come in the shape of teams dedicating their time to charity or environmental projects, or fundraising. Businesses could come together and look to what other support they can offer to their local and wider communities. For example, company vehicles being used as support in local emergencies (flooding), or disused office spaces/buildings being offered to community groups.

 

10. Training the Future

 

A collaborative effort on training resources could help to put in place apprenticeships or other training schemes. These will help to ensure a steady supply of interested and engaged recruits to the businesses, as well as help people take their first steps into a career in FM, or a supply chain service.

When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility, I believe two heads of resources are better than one. We’re all working to achieve common goals, so why not join those efforts together for an even bigger impact and more resilient accountability?

Picture: a photograph of the Expeditious Services team sitting at a table having a meeting. Cups can be seen on the table, as well as notebooks and pens, and a laptop Image Credit: Expeditious Services

Article written by Jen Eastwood | Published 08 February 2022

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