Young Group Social has researched how the coronavirus pandemic has influenced corporate social responsibility.
As many as 70% of respondents plan to strengthen or have already strengthened their focus on health within the company. A focus on employees tops their priorities lists for the coming year, including taking care of people’s health, developing corporate volunteering and improving the emotional state of employees.
Conventional marketing strategies have become inappropriate amid the pandemic. While having retained clients, businesses have seen a dramatic change in their priorities – instead of evaluating the company’s products, they now also look at the global benefits and contribution the company is making to preserve common values, the study says.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility and sustainable business development, but has changed priorities in this area and added new challenges to the agenda. Amid the global effort to contain the coronavirus infection, companies have shifted focus from a balanced management of environmental, social and governance aspects (ESG), to emphasize social and governance factors,” Young Group Social Development Director Yevgenia Kuznetsova told Invest Foresight. “Companies’ policies to improve employee well-being and relationships with local communities and consumers have always been under close public scrutiny and influenced the holistic perception of their brands. During the pandemic, companies that were the first to show responsibility and help deal with the healthcare crisis earned greater support of their employees and a response from consumers, and moreover, those moves had a significant impact on their reputation and future relationships with customers, suppliers, investors and authorities.”
Even after the epidemiological situation improves, companies plan to maintain systemic and sustainable projects to keep their employees healthy, to address environmental issues and develop the areas of their presence.
These policies will help them build open communication with various stakeholders – maintain employee loyalty, public trust and investor confidence, the expert said.