Modern consumers are looking for more than quality products and reliable service from the companies with which they do business. Companies looking to increase business also need to show a solid commitment to social responsibility. Look to these three areas to be sure your business values are strong and on track to improve the world of the future and attract clients looking to do business with companies that prioritize socially responsible actions.
The best place to start improving your corporate social responsibility is by taking a good, hard look at your own workplace. Are policies fair for all employees? Do you value diversity when it comes to hiring, promotions and the policies you create? If you have overseas operations, work to make sure that fair policies are in place for your international workers, too. Practice transparency about your social responsibility, sharing the good work you do in your company newsletter and press releases. Work to foster a company culture with business values that put social policies near the top of your agenda.
Every company has some impact on the environment. Be socially responsible by working to minimize yours. Think about your carbon footprint, and take steps to make it smaller. Select clean sources of fuel when possible, and find local suppliers to reduce your use of transportation. Reduce business travel by combining necessary trips, and be sure to encourage your employees to carpool with direct incentives. In areas in which your consumption is high, take steps to offset that consumption. Admit mistakes, and develop plans to prevent repeating mistakes in the future.
Philanthropy is another way to show your social responsibility. Choose worthy causes to support. Look for areas that relate to your business, or pick something in your local community. If you produce products, consider donating goods to areas suffering from emergency situations. Although it is easier for large corporations to donate money, small business often has local opportunities to be seen giving money, products or services to those in need. Volunteering is an easy way to demonstrate your social responsibility to your local community. Start lending a hand at your local soup kitchen or participating in a park beautification project. Some events lend themselves to both financial donations and volunteering. For example, a local youth center may need computer equipment and volunteers to help the center's clients learn computer skills.
When deciding which areas to focus on, be sure to look to your workforce for ideas. Getting your employees on board with your social responsibility platform helps ensure that it is a platform that extends to the local community and the people who use your business. Start by adding a section on social responsibility to your business mission statement. Then, consider creating a committee that helps bring your vision to fruition.
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