In the era of intensive communication, companies compete with ingenuity in the race for social and environmental responsibility. Objective: to claim the title of the most humanistic and greenest company possible. The world's largest companies are in the lead, driven by the extra-financial requirements now scrutinized by markets.
When the commitment is sincere, the approach must be encouraged. Whatever happens, the means implemented by a large group will be much higher than those of an SME. Implication is essential, but the primary objective of these companies is above all to create value in their core business.
An SME that engages in a CSR policy must be pragmatic and follow through with its strategy without seeking to compete with the largest organizations; its challenges and its objectives are not the same. It will then have to set realistic goals aligned with its values and convictions.
The pitfall too often observed is to multiply CSR initiatives without overall consistency with a vision, with actions decided in a hurry and without any indicator.
This risk is even greater in SMEs which - due to a lack of means and resources to maintain efforts over time - often appear as bad examples. It can be frustrating or even be seen as giving up.
An SME must choose its battles, support them, monitor them, and measure the benefits or delays. The company thus increases its credibility and ensures the effectiveness of its actions while fully integrating them into its strategy.
CSR remains a powerful communication lever: attraction and retention of talent, well-being, loyalty of employees, strong employer brand and business development.
To avoid “greenwashing” or “socialwashing”, it is essential to have a structured and thoughtful strategic vision. SMEs must carefully choose their strategy to better support the transformations they need and communicate with complete transparency.
As the market's biggest employers, SMEs play a key role in the transformation of the world of work. They have an interest in implementing good social and environmental practices to become real players in a sustainable economy.