5 March 2014 | Adelina Velikova
Towards the end of 2013 visitors to 60K’s offices in Sofia, Bulgaria, were greeted not by the formal blandness they might have expected from a business process outsourcer, but by a colourful Christmas bazaar selling cards and decorations, bags, books, DVDs, calendars, and even cakes and cookies.
The four-day bazaar aimed to raise funds for several local charities. In total the company’s employees donated 3583.38 leva (£1501.64). We believe there are seven reasons for any business to become more socially responsible.
• Keep regulators at bay: for many organisations the initial impetus towards social responsibility is the desire to keep regulators at bay. In many ways it is a sensible corporate strategy. It is after all far better to choose the timing, scale and nature of your interventions than to have them imposed upon you.
• Motivate employees: a 2010 Hewitt & Associates study looked at 230 workplaces and found that the more a company actively pursues worthy environmental and social efforts, the more engaged its employees are.
• Attract the top talent: according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers 88 per cent of millennials – the new generation entering the workforce – choose employers based on strong social responsibility values, and 86 per cent would consider leaving if their employer’s values no longer met their expectations.
• Innovate to succeed: whether it is running a Christmas bazaar, taking orphans horse riding, making traditional spring charms, or any one of the many socially responsible activities we at 60K have been involved in it, they have provided a chance to take a break from our routines, meet new people and engage in a fresh experience. Many organisations find this can provide a real spur to innovation.
• Tap into the power of social media: according to the Reputation Institute’s 2011 Pulse Survey, CSR is responsible for more than 40 per cent of a company’s reputation, and the speed of digital media means that is more important than ever before.
• Give consumers what they want: the Cone Communications 2013 Annual Social Responsibility Study revealed 93 per cent of people want to see more of the products and services they use support worthy social/environmental issues. The implication is clear: behaving ethically can help a business boost sales and profits.
• It is morally the right thing to do: throughout the year there were many socially responsible activities at 60K which not only helped those in our local community but also gave us a great amount of joy.
☛ Adelina Velikova is marketing manager at 60K