5 keys to a successful collaborative CSR strategy

5 keys to a successful collaborative CSR strategy

Impact is now a priority issue for companies. For several years now, it has been on the agenda of management committees, CSR departments have been created and committees have begun to be set up. CSR has also become an issue of concern for employees - 73% of them want to get involved according to an IBET study!

"Rzilient was founded with the goal of simplifying and sustaining the iT management of organizations, and we have placed Impact at the heart of our business and operational approaches. We want to perpetuate our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach, but also and above all make Impact our compass guiding each of our actions and decisions.

To do this, we have chosen to base our strategy in 2022 on 4 reference systems:
👉 The status of mission-based company, which we plan to obtain by the end of 2022 (still waiting for the creation of the impact company status...);
👉 The Responsible Digital label, which we obtained in April 2022;
👉 The B Corp label, for which we plan to apply by the end of 2022;
👉 And finally, our low-carbon trajectory, engaged after having carried out a carbon footprint assessment at the end of 2021 with Sami."

Audren Letellier, CSR Manager at Rzilient.

A collaborative CSR strategy: why?

The subject of CSR is increasingly becoming a strategic issue within companies. 67% of managers say that CSR is a priority for the next five years. As with any transformation issue, it is essential that all employees participate, at their level, in the construction of this strategy. This is all the more important when we know that 71% of French people are not sufficiently informed about what is being done in terms of CSR in their company, according to an Ekodev survey.

Collective intelligence and participative mode are the best tools to make your CSR approach a success, and above all, a unifying element in your company. This will be an opportunity to survey, listen, involve and co-construct with your committed employees a roadmap adapted to your challenges.

By involving all employees in the CSR strategy, the company ensures that it is implemented effectively, relevant and adopted by all. But also of its attractiveness and the performance of its employees. Employees, proud of their commitments and those of their company, will be more efficient, more fulfilled at work but will also become the best ambassadors of the company. 

We must not minimize the importance of the quest for meaning, which is now essential for future talent.

Involving your employees in your impact approach - what results?

Integrating employees into the CSR process can be virtuous on several levels:

  • Efficiency of deployment thanks to the understanding of the stakes and the implementation of your approach by your entire organization
  • Consistency with your stakeholders: your sales, operational or HR teams will embody your approach and will be able to explain it to your customers, partners or candidates who are increasingly demanding about your social and environmental commitments
  • Employer brand and attractiveness: employees who are proud of their commitments and those of their company are more efficient, more fulfilled at work but will also become the best ambassadors for the company. According to a Harris Interactive survey, 6 out of 10 young graduates say they are ready to refuse a position in a company they do not consider to be sufficiently committed.

The 5 keys to success in implementing a collaborative CSR strategy

1. Have an authentic and coherent approach

Whether employees or job applicants, the majority expect strong commitments from the company on environmental and social issues.

In order for the CSR approach to be considered coherent and authentic, it is essential to take into account the social and environmental concerns of your company, its sector and its employees.

An approach is coherent if the collaborative CSR program you wish to implement is in line with the company's CSR objectives.

The approach will be considered authentic if it is integrated into the following dimensions:

  • Strategic: specify how the environmental and social actions you wish to implement are an integral part of your company's strategy
  • Specific: communicate the objectives of your collaborative CSR approach clearly and precisely
  • Aligned: explain how implementing a collaborative CSR strategy is consistent with your core business and fits with your objectives
  • Measurable: communicate in a transparent way around concrete and quantified data on your collaborative CSR strategy on objectives and results

2. Embodying the project by the top management

The embodiment of CSR by an internal sponsor is necessary to make your approach serious, legitimate and credible.

It is important to have a sponsor within the top management (General Manager, Member of the Management Committee, Member of the Executive Committee...) so that your approach is considered strategic, serious and ambitious.

The role of this sponsor will be to embody and carry the project throughout the organization. His/her role will also be to facilitate its deployment and to ensure its appropriation by all the employees of your company. Finally, the sponsor must monitor the project's progress, its successes and, above all, its stumbling blocks.

This sponsor must be able to:

  • Support and remind the objectives of the CSR strategy
  • Embody the project to all employees and be available at certain key moments
  • Regularly promote the project internally to reinforce its legitimacy
  • Arbitrate key points that are not within the competence of the CSR team (risks, strategic changes, etc.)

3. Carry out regular and targeted communication

In order to carry out a collaborative CSR strategy, it is essential to put in place a regular and clear communication strategy to encourage employees to take part in these new projects and to commit themselves over time.

It is essential to promote collective and individual actions by coordinating with the CSR team and the communication team.

It is important to give rhythm and regularity to communications. Communicating once a month on the CSR initiatives that have been implemented and the actions of employees to be highlighted can be a good first step before launching into a more regular animation.

4. Have a committed project team

The role of the project team is to coordinate the missions and the implementation of the collaborative CSR strategy within the company.

The involvement of the project team is done at different levels:

  • Logistics: ensure that the strategy is understood and assimilated by all employees. To achieve this, the project team must define its vision, determine the respective roles, establish an action plan and choose the right collaboration tools. A well-organized project team on this subject will allow to engage even more employees in the achievement of CSR objectives and missions and in their success.
  • Operational: the members of the project team must embody the missions and objectives, they can share what they have put in place, share information... If they take the time to share their experience, they will increase the sense of belonging of the other collaborators who will in turn enjoy doing the same.
  • Strategic: the implementation of a collaborative CSR strategy must be considered strategic. It is essential to monitor the successes and challenges of the project on a daily basis in order to share it with the internal sponsor. It is essential to ensure that the actions taken are in line with the defined strategy.

The project team can also rely on a network of CSR ambassadors or referents. This network has a dual role: (i) relaying information from the CSR team to their teams and (ii) reporting on more operational initiatives or projects.

5. Rely on the expertise of specialists

There are CSR experts such as consulting firms or platforms specialized in employee engagement, such as mao boa, that can help and support you in implementing your CSR strategy and ensuring that it is well embodied by your employees.

Want to know more? Talk to a mão boa expert

Written by

Audrey Pogu

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