8 Ways To Make Your Business More Socially Responsible
Imagine that you are in a shop choosing between two pairs of shoes from different brands. You know that by purchasing one of them, you help the brand provide a needy person with footwear. Which pair would you choose? A simple one or a “caring” one? If you were looking for a job, which company would you choose – a simple one or the one that is socially responsible and pays more considerable attention to the needs of your community? The answers are pretty obvious and somehow explain why socially conscious businesses get something more than just thanks. It is a proven fact that social initiatives help businesses attract top talents, generate more sales, get more loyal customers, become more attractive to investors, and simply thrive.
Want to begin your journey down the charity lane, but don’t know what to start with? The ways to make this world a better place are so many – from teaching local non-profits how to set up a business website or run the SMM campaign to feeding those who can’t afford to buy a meal in your community. If you want to build the relationships that last, you need to start with small steps and make social responsibility a part of your brand identity. We are happy to guide you on this journey.
Improve Your Labor Conditions
Volunteering and donations are the first things that come to mind when people think about social consciousness. However, before you start caring about those in need, think about your own people. Make sure your employees are valued and treated with dignity, get a fair salary, and work in a healthy environment. Even if you can’t make grand gestures like Google or TheTechSutra (the latter provides its employees with 52 weeks of paid parental leave that can be used by both parents), you still can show love and care in small things like good lighting, comfortable seating and room temperature, healthy snacks, etc.
Focus On Sustainability
The fact your business exists means it uses natural resources and impacts the environment. Before your company gets involved in charity, it’s logical to start from within. Think about simple actions that will help minimize harm. It can be everything from taking part in recycling programs and encouraging paperless operations to use eco-friendly energy-saving lighting and plumbing or holding tree-planting events. Even if you can’t use wind energy or pack your goods in plastic derived from the ocean like Method cleaning product company does, you still can find ways to take care of the planet even if it means working from home to reduce the carbon footprint.
Set Simple, Attainable Goals
Unless you are a huge corporation, thinking big isn’t handy when it comes to charity. As a small business, you aren’t likely to cope with global problems like world hunger. Better think locally and set ambitious though simple and realistic goals you can easily explain to your team and get them involved and excited. Look at what you already have (money, talents, equipment, etc.) and think about how you can address the immediate and acute problems in your community. Keeping your goals measurable (for example, help 100 people in 3 months) will let you stay on track and see how your mission is going, what works and what doesn’t.
If you dream about a significant impact, but can’t afford to make it on your own, seek the help of likeminded businesses, organizations, or charities that breathe the same values as you do. Such partnerships help not only you get more funding, but also generate creative ideas and open the doors you couldn’t even think of.
Set Up An In-house Social Consciousness Team
Carrying out an efficient social mission is impossible without the help of like-minded people who work in your business. Firstly, educate your employees, explain the problem and your goals to them, and motivate them to join your social initiative. Secondly, create your in-house social consciousness team that will be responsible for crowdsourcing ideas, elaborating the action plan, executing the mission and awareness campaigns, and reporting on the result.
The easiest way a business can help the community is to donate money (food/clothes/medications) directly to a person in need or local charities. If you’ve got a small business and you are limited in funds, you can raise some extra funds from your employees and clients using a donation box or by organizing a fundraising event.
Volunteer As A Team
Encourage your employees to volunteer in various social programs by providing them with paid time off. Doing something for free for other people makes us happy and fulfilled. This logically translates into better productivity at work. So the best thing you can do as a business is to volunteer as a team. Look for charitable events in your community where a team’s assistance is needed. Except for boosting employee morale, such events help build strong bonds inside your team.
Many businesses misunderstand charity and social responsibility as marketing tools that should help them appeal to stakeholders and grow brand awareness. Indeed, such methods may help at the beginning, but customers will eventually discover that your charity efforts aren’t authentic and smell like self-interest. If you want to build lasting relationships with your community, you should take social responsibility seriously, stay consistent (make contributions regularly) and never expect a return.