5 Ways to Become More Socially Responsible That Make Your Company Better
A company gets more proficient and profitable when it is focused on the well being of everyone it touches.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Just because your business is successful doesn't mean that you're satisfied. After all, there's more to being a successful business owner. It's also about making a positive change with the success that you've been fortunate to experience.
And, it's also good for the bottom line.
According to 2014 from Nielsen, "Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact."
In short, being socially responsible beneficial all-around. And, you can experience that for yourself by using the following five methods to transform your business into a socially responsible organization.
1. Crowdsource ideas.
Weber Shandwick and KRC Research found after interviewing 216 executives from Fortune 200 companies that 44 percent had used crowdsourcing to gather ideas for the company's social responsibility programming. Additionally, 95 percent who had gone with this approach found it valuable.
Lain Hensley, Odyssey Teams COO, says that you should ask employees "what they want the company to take on to give back to the community" and then "use those ideas to create a corporate social responsibility culture that is more inclusive, democratic and participatory."
2. Mobilize enough resources to achieve a defined goal.
I personally find that companies become successful when they identify problems that people have, allocate the proper resources to solving those problems and pushing hard to get their product in the hands of those who need it. Social good should be no different for an organization. You have to identify what works for you and your community.
For my company we targeted the Open to Hope Foundation. We have several people on our team who have lost someone in their life. We started by analyzing what people in grief needed, built a tool to help them get exactly the help they need and now we're telling everyone about it. This is now part of our company wide goals.
3. Hire selfless people.
Hiring for my company has taught me that people interested in the greater good over their paychecks are the best employees. They work harder and are better all-around to their fellow employees. I've also found that the more social good we participate in, the lower our turnover rates we have at our company.
Forty-two percent of professionals surveyed in 2013 reported that "an organization's participation in charitable activities influence their decision to work there."
4. Make integrated external engagement a reality.
McKinsey & Company claims that the traditional corporate social responsibility is "failing to deliver, for both companies and society." Instead, companies should focus on external engagement. These are the "efforts a company makes to manage its relationship with the external world" that includes "not just corporate philanthropy, community programs, and political lobbying, but also aspects of product design, recruiting policy, and project execution."
To make IEE a reality, implement these policies into your company;
- Define what you contribute by "being explicit about how fulfilling that purpose benefits society."
- Have "detailed knowledge of the preferences and resources of stakeholders" so that you can develop goals and strategies.
- Follow "the three core tools of great management: creating capabilities, establishing processes, and measuring outcomes."
- Give your employees external-engagement skills through on-the-job experience and formal training.
- Incorporate external-engagement into business processes at all levels to avoid any conflicts.
- Make sure to that you "set targets, measure progress against them, and link incentives to their achievement."
- Make sure that you engage stakeholders, early, often, and build trust with them.
5. Establish charity rewards and bonuses.
Social responsibility isn't a daily task for employees in most organizations unless c-level executives and managers step in to make it a part of their teams' responsibilities.
I like to create team-based rewards system around performance. The more people banter back and forth, the more it helps the charity. The more teams involved, the bigger the overall pot. An example of this would be a referral program would be employees who refer people who make charitable donations or complete charitable hours.
We're all in this together. Lets see what a change we can make for the better in the coming months!