Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic in Corporate America, but how many companies actually integrate people, planet, and profit into their business strategies? Those are the three Ps of CSR (people, planet, and profit), but so many CSR initiatives fall flat. They bring some nice media buzz for companies but the intent and the follow through leave a lot to be desired.
The key to effective CSR is making it part of your company’s core values. The commitment to all three of the CSR Ps should be expected of every employee, which is why it is so important to include the commitment in your code of conduct and code of ethics. When employees understand that every decision they make should adhere to the code of ethics they committed to when they joined the company, prioritizing people and planet will become everyone’s responsibility just as profit is.
The biggest challenge to truly supporting people and the planet is ensuring leadership is fully committed and displays role model behavior every day. An effective CSR commitment must start at the top, and that is probably the number one cause of CSR failure at most companies today.
CSR efforts should be focused on your community, but remember, “community” includes people in your local area, the global community, and your community of customers. Fifth Third Bank launched an excellent initiative with Leo Burnett to help its customers which provides an excellent example of a successful, meaningful, and useful CSR program. When the company saw several of its customers fall behind on their mortgage payments after being laid off from their jobs, it didn’t ignore their problems or threaten foreclosure. Instead, it launched a creative reemployment program.
The new program enabled Fifth Third Bank to support its customers by helping them search for new employment through the NextJob search program. In addition, a large investment was made to launch a marketing campaign that dedicates both advertising and social media space to customers who are looking for jobs. Part of the initiative includes a series of videos featuring customers who are seeking new employment.
For example, the video below shares the story of Katrina Holmes who was downsized from her job as a healthcare management professional. She had just closed on a new home and suddenly found herself unable to make her mortgage payments. Despite her years of experience and MBA, the poor job market left her making a call to Fifth Third Bank to explain her dire situation. Fifth Third Bank responded by offering job search assistance to her. With the help of the company’s reemployment program, Katrina was able to keep her home.
You can watch Katrina’s story in the video below.
How does your company demonstrate its commitment to all three Ps of CSR?
This post has been sponsored by Fifth Third Bank but concerns our own opinion.