Genuine CSR Requires An External AND Internal Focus: 10 Strategies to Consider

Oct 5, 2016

Start With A Purpose. That’s the advice given to startup companies – start with a purpose. Although written for startups, the points made should be considered by all organizations, especially those wanting to attract and retain the best talent. Employees want purpose & meaning, and to work for a company that is not only making a difference, but is one where the employees feel they are contributing towards that difference. This requires not just an external focus on corporate social responsibility as outlined in the blog, but an internal focus as well.

The strategies outlined for external corporate social responsibility (CSR) were:

  • Cultivate a culture committed to social change.
  • Connect with the local communities.
  • Donate or Discount Products or Services to Drive Social Change.
  • Lay the Groundwork for a Sustainable Supply Chain.
  • Translate Diversity Values into Practice.
  • Make a Public and Formal Commitment to Social Responsibility.


These strategies are a great start for ‘external’ CSR; however, additional strategies must be considered to first ensure a vibrant ‘internal’ climate or CSR that enhances well-being. In other words, the CSR spotlight must focus in both directions. Here are 10 strategies for building ‘internal’ social responsibility,

  1. Take a frequent pulse to assess employee perceptions of satisfaction and social climate of the workplace.
  2. Ensure that employee contributions are valued, appreciated, recognized, and acknowledged.
  3. Check-in to learn if employees feel that they are valued, respected and trusted. Cultivate measures to ensure high levels of all 3.
  4. Communicate the organization’s mission – frequently & often – and tie how the work performed by employees as well as managers directly contribute to that mission.
  5. Cultivate a high level of integrity, transparency and openness.
  6. Foster a sense of connection and belonging.
  7. Welcome and encourage diverse opinions, ensuring that employees are willing to freely speak up, and feel that their opinions are heard, considered and appreciated.
  8. Focus your wellness program on well-being, empathy, and caring; instead of health cost savings, and biometric screenings tied to insurance premiums.
  9. Shift safety from a compliance driven process to a company-wide approach fostering a sense of care and compassion.
  10. Ensure that the organization’s values are understood by all, actively promoted, and drive all business transactions – as well as interactions – both internal and external.

Begin by having discussions and asking a few basic questions to assess internal social responsibility. Once you know the answers you can begin to cultivate the 10 strategies as you also plan your external social responsibility platform. Both internal and external CSR foster organization and employee well-being. Doing so requires shining the spotlight in both directions to develop genuine CSR. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss this or if we can assist with your unique approach to genuine CSR.