Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about a commitment to the communities in which an organisation operates. CSR is an important contributor to long-term business success, and should be viewed in a strategic business sense rather than simply for its “feel-good” factor.
Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Enhanced corporate or brand reputation, image and value
- Increased desire for a product or service associated with a cause
- Increased employee loyalty, commitment and morale
- Improved customer loyalty
- Improved culture within the organisation
While corporate philanthropy (generosity motivated purely to make the company look good or to create the right spin) for its own sake has its place, a well-defined and effective CSR campaign identifies and addresses issues that impact on both the company and the wider community.
Developing a strategic approach to employing people with disability, under the banner of Corporate Social Responsibility, makes good business sense. People with disability have valuable skills to offer organisations, and show commitment and loyalty that is unsurpassed. The employment of people with disability has the power to improve staff morale, as well as improve customer loyalty and enhance the reputation of an organisation.
Almost four million Australians have a disability, and people with disability represent 16.6% of Australia’s working age population. People with disability are consumers, investors and decision makers. Employing people with disability ensures a diverse workforce, which reflects the diversity of customers and the community, in turn generating a more favourable opinion of the organisation. A diverse workforce can help an organisation to be better equipped to understand their customers and meet their needs.
The biggest barrier to employment faced by people with disability is the attitude of employers. Changing attitudes comes down to raising awareness of disability issues, and repositioning disability as a business concern. Employers can help by providing mentoring, work experience and internships for people with disability, and will benefit from:
- Less absenteeism
- Increased retention
- Lower recruitment costs
- Increased work performance
- Increased worker morale
- Few workplace injuries.
Employing people with disability as part of an effective Corporate Social Responsibility campaign can benefit the organisation, the employee and the wider community.