Carers: a business responsibility and social opportunity

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is generally understood to be a commitment by corporate bodies to visibly contribute to the social good. Socially responsible companies do not limit themselves to engaging in activities that increase only their profits but use CSR to integrate economic, environmental and social objectives within their operations and growth. 
Many of the best corporate responsibility programmes provide financial support and find innovative ways to share business assets and knowledge. 
Effective CSR can be achieved by:
  • Developing a new strategy or reviewing your current one
  • Assessing and benchmarking your current activities
  • Identifying exactly the right charity partners and entering into mutually beneficial partnerships with them
  • Developing innovative new initiatives that will set you apart from your competitors
  • Boosting employee engagement and helping develop skilled volunteering
  • Developing and delivering your strategy within the UK and globally.
Every company will have areas of corporate social responsibility specific to their business.  However, improving the quality of life of their workforce and their families as well as that of the local community and wider society is also crucially important to the staff and public perception of the company.
Most people's lives will include at least one episode of caring. Already 1 in 7 in your workforce will be caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill. But with the number of carers in the UK set to rise from 6 million to 9 million over the next 30 years, the proportion of carers in your workforce is also likely to increase significantly. With our ageing population and workforce– and in the current economic climate - there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers rather than incurring the costs of recruiting and retraining new staff. 
Employee engagement within your organisation
With the numbers of carers increasing in our families, workplace and communities, partnership with a charity that supports such a vital cause will provide a 360 degrees partnership and indicate to your employees that you are serious about supporting carers.
Carers UK’s Fundraising Department will be happy to discuss ways that you might consider getting your employees involved whilst supporting your communities. You might consider a strategic partnership, nominate Carers UK for charity of the year or provide straight-forward support for a project. Email for more information. 
Further information
David Grayson, CBE is director of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a member of the Ethical Corporation editorial advisory council, and a board member of the charity Carers UK and writes in more detail about how organisations will need to change the way they treat staff who are also carers here.