According to a 2015 study from millennial branding, 75% of millennials say that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit.

The Harvard Business Review noted in 2016 that on average, 30% of corporate earnings are at stake when it comes to a company’s relationship with society.

Too often, however, corporate responsibility is not given the same strategic forethought as say more traditional or long-standing mechanisms of business — the KPIs of philanthropy, community giving, and employee engagement are measured far less frequently than click-through-rates on the latest digital ad campaign.

When I was in grad school, one of my professors had an adage he frequently shared with the class:

“What gets measured, gets done.”

So if we aren’t measuring corporate responsibility — or if we are measuring it as more afterthought than strategy — is it doing the most good?

Some of the keys to a successful and measurable corporate responsibility strategy include:

  1. Clarity. It’s important to identify and unify around a relevant issue that has meaning to your business and the culture of your workplace.
  2. Integration. Corporate responsibility is about more than writing a check. It’s about engagement in all areas of your business, leveraging your innovation to create meaningful impact.
  3. Empowerment. Your best asset in business is your people. The same is true for your corporate responsibility strategy. Engage your employees and incentivize them to be a part of your CR goals.
  4. Create Value. Look for ways to improve your choices to maximize your sustainability efforts.
  5. Transparency. It’s not enough to tell the story of your corporate responsibility impact. You need to gain trust by allowing outsiders in, whether through community relations partnerships or third-party vendors measuring and tracking your CR goals in public-facing reports.

Far more businesses are starting to integrate corporate responsibility into their business planning efforts because they recognize it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the right thing for the bottom line. Are you making the most of your CR strategy?