APPOINTMENTS: There's Plenty to Be Said for Positive Corporate Social Responsibility

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Byline: DAVID BUTLER

Much has been written of late about corporate social responsibility. Is it a positive advantage to business, motivating employees and putting profit back into the community, or is it a negative liability, mainly imposed on the hard-pressed executive by the Government and featherbedded civil servants?

I have to admit that many employees are deeply suspicious of CSR or, alternatively, see it as pointless and unrelated to core business activities. But this view is fast becoming out of date.

Research indicates thattime and time again, those companies that are well regarded by the general public are those that do best, in terms of both staff retention and sales.

In other words, those businesses that regard CSR activities as part of their overall marketing plan are those that reap the benefits.

In order to succeed in maximising the positive aspects of CSR, any company has to ensure that the programme is genuine. If is is exposed as a mere sham, where the reality fails to match the claims made by thecompany, it results in more harm than good to corporate reputation.

It is crucial to recognise that CSR cannot simply be regarded as a cosmetic bolton. It needs to be included in the company's corporate culture so that the public seesquite transparently that shareholder value is not the sole determinant of business activity.

CSR can be implemented at a number of levels. Responsibility can be regarded as basic factors such as the need to provide employees with safeworking conditions. …