“The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.”
— Dale Carnegie
Socially responsible companies are gaining currency in the business world.
Civic-mindedness and ethical concerns have always played an important role in commerce but an emphasis on the bottom line has often seemed to take precedence. Today, however, entrepreneurs and enterprises recognize that enduring achievement and the creation of lasting value depends not just on productivity and profits alone. Social responsibility in terms of giving back to the communities in which a company is embedded is also part of a brand’s IP. There is a lot of evidence that being a mission-driven organization can greatly bolster your business.
Here are 5 ways that doing good help make your company more creative, resilient, and attractive to customers.
Hire Employees Interested in the Greater Good
Choosing employees who are committed to a social cause has many benefits. Evidence is mounting that they work harder, make better co-workers and have a lower turnover rate. According to Forbes, socially responsible companies can pay less for top talent because the most qualified applicants believe they will treat them better than other employers would. More importantly, innovation depends on cohesive collaboration within an organization. When employees believe in a company’s aspirations, then they are far more likely to be highly motivated and engaged. This tends to foster the creative contributions that are a differentiator in today’s marketplace. Encouraging an attitude of WE instead of I is what helps companies rise to the top.
Think Expansively Rather Than Narrowly
According to a report by McKinsey, traditional conceptions of corporate social responsibility are failing to deliver for both companies and society. Socially responsible companies need to take a more expansive view of their obligations. Corporate philanthropy and community outreach are important but companies also need to consider how their products and services benefit society, impact the environment and affect stakeholders. Expansive engagement requires more extensive skills but it can also broaden trust and expand opportunities.
Reward Altruism in the Office
Charitable events and activities can be team-building exercises that foster cohesion in the workplace. Managers who organize food drives, community clean-ups and other volunteer efforts lead by example and inspire greater loyalty and dedication to their organizations. People love being a part of a worthy cause bigger than themselves. And those positive feelings can boost workplace productivity too. Find ways to reinforce altruistic behavior in the workplace.
Be Part of the Solution
What higher calling or goal is your company committed to? Identify a social problem that your business can help fix. It could be a local, national, or global problem that your organization can support, from a local walk for cancer, to a global climate change initiative.
Embrace passionate attitudes.
More than ever, companies need to encourage both employee and customer engagement. One of the best ways to do this is to identify a worthy goal or cause that transcends the organization. As psychologist and marketing expert Art Markman notes, “People who succeed in the workplace are also those people who see their work as having a higher calling to help others and to improve the world.”
In the past, socially responsible companies were the exception, but today they are becoming the new norm. Increasingly, consumers want to support businesses that are purpose-driven and that put people ahead of profits.
Do you have you have a cause or ideas about creating a socially responsible company you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them so please let me know in the comments section below.