“Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.” – William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman – Ford Motor Company

A decade ago Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) served as a cute buzzword to get media attention or to restore a tarnished brand.  In 2016, CSR has gone beyond a public relations gimmick as companies strive to actively integrate change and sustainability into their culture. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Disney, BMW, and countless other household names engage in authentic philanthropy to address global economic, social, and environmental challenges.  But CSR isn’t an exclusive boys club for big brands.  As a matter of fact, many small companies are knocking the cover off the ball when it comes to social consciousness and responsibility.

In today’s society, Milton Friedman’s “business’s sole responsibility is to maximize profits” is a reckless approach that can damage a company’s reputation and profitability. Commitment to social responsibility is not just a “good thing to do”, it’s also good for business. The data shows …

1.) 72% of consumers will pay more for products and services from socially responsible companies. (Source:  Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability)

2.) 62% are willing to take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.(Source: 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study)

3.) 70% of millennials studied said company’s commitment to social responsibility influenced their decision to work there. (Source: Deloitte Survey)

4.) Employees perform better working at companies with strong CSR policy.(Source: HRM’s Role in Corporate Social and Environmental Sustainability)

According to a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) study, companies with strong CSR programs had:

  • 55% better morale
  • 43% more efficient businesses processes
  • 43% stronger public image
  • 38% better employee loyalty

5.) 82% of Millennials recommend products and services to people based on companies’ social and environmental commitments. (Source: 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study)

So … What’s in Your Company’s CSR Playbook?

“It is no longer enough to serve customers, employees, and shareholders. As corporate citizens of the world, it is our responsibility — our duty — to serve the communities where we do business by helping to improve, for example, the quality of citizens’ education, employment, health care, safety, and overall daily life, plus future prospects.” – Howard Schultz, CEO – Starbucks

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Kelly Leonard is a speaker, trainer, and award-winning CEO.  Her company, Taylor-Leonard Corporation (T-LC) is a small, woman-owned training, information technology, and business development consultancy. With over 45 years of collective experience serving Fortune 100 companies, federal, state, and local government, T-LC’s leadership team brings the best practices of global, multinational organizations to the marketplace.

Despite being a small, closely held company, Taylor-Leonard Corporation’s leadership team and staff actively serve on local Boards and support dynamic organizations and programs through service projects, missions, and charitable giving.  Among the organizations and initiatives supported are Montgomery College, Nehemiah Project,Community Profits Montgomery, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Montgomery County.

Own a company in Montgomery County, MD?  Take the Community Profits Pledgebecause when businesses do good, the Community Profits!http://www.communityprofitsmontgomery.org/#!take-the-pledge/cnmt

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