How To: Corporate Social Responsibility at Work

Corporate social responsibility in the workplace is a growing trend that benefits multiple tiers of the business, so here are some top tips to get you started!
Chris Houston

Corporate responsibility continues to be a major focus for forward-thinking businesses, and the concept is evolving to include corporate social responsibility in the workplace.

The concept of corporate social responsibility arose out of the 1990 protests around globalization in what became known as the Battle of Seattle. Since then, companies have been working to demonstrate their commitment to supporting smaller local businesses to offset concerns.

So how does the concept of corporate responsibility translate to real corporate responsibility ideas that can express meaningful support? 

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (often shortened to ‘CSR’) is based on the belief that companies should see themselves as a part of their greater community. Companies (especially larger ones) can seriously impact the social, economic, and environmental reality of their surrounding and participating communities.

Luckily, incorporating CSR ideas into your business strategy is not only easy, but it can be extremely beneficial both for productivity and your bottom line as well as the community. It’s a win-win-win!

What Are the Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility? 

Big and small businesses alike can and should care about corporate social responsibility. Setting aside the community impacts for a moment, working in a company that prioritizes CSR is a point of pride for employees.

Employees are drawn to companies that act as role models in their communities. This in turn builds employee engagement and a positive work environment which have a big impact on loyalty, recruitment, productivity, and help with sales to boot!

How to Boost Corporate Social Responsibility in the Workplace

At this point, you are probably looking for some CSR examples so you can get the most out of being a hometown hero!

Set a Clear Vision:

Focus on a few sectors where you are hoping to share the love. For instance, small businesses. Make a list of the businesses you want to support, then look at your existing activities to see if there are any easy switches that can be made. In the unlikely event that there are no obvious leveraging points, start up a dialogue and ask them how you can support them.

Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

DEI is a crucial evolution in the way we do business, and the benefits are clear. Corporate social responsibility in the workplace is about building community as much as it is about fostering the community that is already present. We know that prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion builds better company culture, drives faster innovation, and better companies – so if DEI isn’t already part of your company strategy, what are you waiting for?

Corporate/Team Volunteer Days:

Find a cause or organization that you are interested in and plan a day or half-day for the team to spend giving back. Not only are you giving back and demonstrating corporate social responsibility in a very public way, but it is also an excellent way of team building and boosting employee engagement for weeks to come. 

Support Other Small Businesses: 

Either through the procurement of office items or with catered team lunches, supporting local small businesses is a way of benefiting industries in the community. Catered team lunches are easier than ever to order with platforms that allow workers to easily order ahead, choosing from many of the local restaurants in the area.

Give to Charity:

One of the most classic corporate responsibility ideas is to simply donate. This can involve financial donations or materials. Think of any time you upgrade your technology, why not give away the old equipment to a school, library, or a small business. The same goes for office furniture and so on. Or, pick a charitable organization and become a major donor to receive extra recognition for your CSR.

Environmental Sustainability Initiatives:

Another way of setting a CSR example is simply by going green in the office. Ban single use water bottles, paper cups, straws, and so on to make a difference in the amount of waste you generate. Strike up a dialogue with local catering services to use sustainable or reusable containers for team lunches. Just remember, it’s all about making integrity decisions to leave the world a little better off than you found it.


Remember to start small. Even something like supporting local businesses in your day-to-day activities counts – start with what you can control, such as where you buy your lunch from. Ritual for Companies is a great way to provide meals to your team while supporting restaurants in your area.

Chris Houston
Chris Houston