As a business owner or consultant it’s important to have a positive and favorable reputation inside the office and in the community. Taking a lead in corporate responsibility and communicating those efforts can enhance your business presence and show your contributions are making a difference.
Companies vary in size; however those rated as the most reputable are the businesses that stand behind their people, products and services. This is an integral part of every business and having an active role in social responsibility can enhance what you already provide. To assure you are delivering best practices when it comes to social responsibility, remember to:
- Use clear and concise communication: When determining what social causes you want to support, be sure you have buy-in from your employees. This will help decide which causes your team is passionate about. By including them in the discussion you can support organizations that speak to their values.
Depending on how large the organization is, consider surveying the team to rate their top three values and interests for support. This will, in the long run, contribute to the growth of the organization, encourage employees to participate and provide another element to define your business
- Proactively engage in efforts: Nurture employees to support causes through ongoing participation, whether its contributions of food for an annual Harvest for Hunger campaign, a quarterly blood drive for the American National Red Cross or labor efforts for Habitat for Humanity. This will contribute to a favorable corporate reputation to internal and external audiences and support team bonding.
Employees today, especially millennials, want their job to be meaningful in multiple ways. Making a difference through a social cause is one way to further engage employees and recruit new team members. Participation in charitable programs ensures employees are engaged on multiple levels and adds a dimension of fun in the work place which in turn increases job satisfaction.
Once you have a plan in place be sure to share those efforts across multiple platforms. For example highlighting charitable efforts on social media can lead to more likes and shares and may possibly lead to new referrals for business. Be sure to quantify the donations in terms of value whether it is actually goods and monetary donations or man hours. When creating an effort to support an organization consider communicating to clients that a percentage of proceeds will go to the charity you are currently supporting. Customers will feel they have a role in making a difference when they work with you.
- Match actions with communications: No matter what you decide to support or what actions you take towards social responsibility, be sure that you don’t neglect walking the talk. If for example you promote using recycled and eco-friendly paper for your print projects, be sure you also have an in-house recycle program in place that speaks to your business being eco-friendly.
It’s important to be sure your corporate social responsibility efforts are clearly communicated and a part of your annual goals and strategic plans. By aligning your actions to positively impact a community, your business presence and favorability rating will improve your character and reputation, and bring enhanced visibility to your business.