In the last few years, social responsibility has become a huge focus for many large corporations all around the world. In her book, Just Good Business, UC Berkeley professor Kellie McElhaney cites an IBM Institute for Business Value study which found that 68% of business leaders are now focusing on corporate social responsibility (CSR) with the goal of generating new revenue streams.
If you're looking to move your organization's social responsibility toward action and not just fluffy words, it can be challenging to figure out how. Check out these 5 ways for help.
1. Formulate a vision
It's difficult to create CSR initiatives if you can't pinpoint what your company stands for on a broader scale. Figure out the purpose of your brand, do research on previous models of similar organizations who have achieved success, and find initiatives that fit with your company's mission.
2. Back up your words
After you've determined which initiatives your company is passionate about and dedicated to, it's important to emphasize that actions have to substantiate the words that any organization is presenting. If your company has a focus on accessible housing, for instance, make a visible connection with a nonprofit group dedicated to creating low- or mixed-income housing. Hypocrisy will lead to extreme criticism, so make sure you do your best to cover your tracks.
3. Launch loudly and upkeep
After your initiative has been designed, bring as much exposure to it as possible with public signs and a launch event. Also keep in mind that, once it's been launched, you'll have to manage the campaign to make sure it continues to run smoothly along the way.
4. Keep your customer base in mind
When developing your CSR, make sure that its mission aligns with what customers look for in your company. People naturally want to support people who are doing good in the world, but also want their initiatives to match up with their personal ones.
5. Use CSR to refine talent
If the people you hire have the same attitude and social responsibility as the CSR you've personalized for your company, you already know that they'll be a great fit for the team.