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Back to Basics – Why Having a Clear Mission, Vision, and Values Is Important for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

What if your employees were asked what their mission, vision, values and corporate social responsibility are; would they be able to accurately articulate these important principles of your organization?

Back to Basics – Why Having a Clear Mission, Vision, and Values Is Important for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Studies have shown that employees’ knowledge about these principles has a positive impact on an organization’s prosperity, growth, and even profitability. Unfortunately, for many organizations, 40% of employees do not understand what their organization’s mission, vision, values, and corporate social responsibility is all about. These important corporate statements define your purpose for existence, they make sense of your identity, and they form your organizational culture. The mission, vision, and values of the organization are key and central to an organization’s CSR strategy. 

Vision, Mission, and Values

A vision is what a company wants to achieve both in the short and long run.

A mission spells the direction or objective for the organization; how the organization purposes to achieve its vision. It answers the question “why”? The mission statement should be authentic, stimulating, simple, convincing, inspiring, ambitious, credible, feasible, and brave. It would really help if it were personalized to every stakeholder. A good example to consider is the Starbucks mission:

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit person to person, cup to cup and community to community.” 

Values are tools that the organization uses to attain its vision. 

A good vision, which lacks a clear mission and set of values, is as good as a declared good intentions but nothing actionable. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility operates within the mission, vision, and values of the organization. Lack or obscurity in any of these three threatens CSR. 

While companies focus on profitability, prosperity, and growth, they end up overlooking the very pertinent needs in their market and in the end they overlook wider influencers of their organization long-term success. The essence of a CSR strategy is to ensure that as the organization is making profits, it employees, as well as, the community in which the organization operates in also finds value. This is what is called shared value. According to Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer, shared value is the link between Corporate Social Responsibility and competitive advantage. The principle of shared value guarantees an organization community trust; it builds the brand goodwill and enhances posterity as well as longevity.

How Different Companies Do It 

  • Google

Google is very aggressive in its ambition towards good citizenship. Some of its corporate social responsibility fronts include Google Green. This is an initiative that supports the efficient use of resources as well as renewable energy. This gets as simple as recycling and turning off lights when not in use. This achieves more for Google than lowering costs. Google itself has realized a 50% drop in power requirements for its data centres; such savings actually boost returns on investment.

  • Target

Since 1946, Target has been committing more effort and assets towards enhancing the environment in which they have stores. They have educational grants as well as championing sustainable practices among others. This means $4 million each week (5%) of profits going into the surrounding community.

  • Xerox

Xerox encourages its employees to be part of their community engagement program. In 2013, this program used $1.3 million to help facilitate 13000 employees for community projects. Xerox not only boosts goodwill from the community but also boosts employee engagement and loyalty especially when they see that projects which employees champion are supported by their employers. Organizations with no such huge capacities could still incorporate employees through limited billable hours per year that would go into volunteer work for the community. 

Conclusion

To realize an excellent corporate social responsibility strategy, every organization must invest time and resources in clearly formulating and sharing its mission, vision, and values with all the stakeholders. Whether it is billable hours for volunteer work, or assisting with a clean environment, every organization can create value for communities. 


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Topics: Company