Today, the question is no longer “Should our organization get involved with societal issues?”, it’s “How should we get involved in social change?” In the U.S., corporate social responsibility is a growing trend. Business leaders are evolving beyond their focus on profit. They are doing their part to contribute to the betterment of the communities in which they do business. While simultaneously working toward equality and inclusion in the workplace. In today’s environment, it’s important for business leaders to work toward social change that improves worker satisfaction and community well-being.
Today’s consumers, when possible, want to know that their hard-earned money is in some way making the world a better place when they make a purchase or use a service. They want more influence over their lives. More control over how they resolve issues. Many want to see a change in the way that large corporations operate. In response, many enterprise leaders are giving more thought to their impact on the communities in which they conduct business.
A recent survey revealed that 80-percent of millennials believe that making a positive impact on the world is more important than professional recognition. Contemporary investors share a similar sentiment. Resultingly, many of today’s investors demand the monitoring and reporting of both the positive and negative impacts on the community and the environment caused by business operations. They want to see how businesses create social change.
How to make a positive impact on workplace and community with social change
1. Develop Your Team
Business leaders who use internal resources and informed, talented collaborative work teams, promote organizational growth and success. They help staff members collaborate by fostering internal connections. Then eliminating outdated hierarchical management structures and helping team members learn from each other.
Many socially conscious leaders are implementing decentralized management frameworks, such as cross-functional integration. Socially responsible initiatives thrive under this kind of leadership. It places an emphasis on people, talent and skills. It enables organizational leaders to leverage innovative new management structures that support team collaboration.
Collaborative leadership is essential for effectively executing social initiatives. To promote change, socially conscious business leaders must have the ability to rally team members and other stakeholders in support of community-oriented visions. Once this is achieved, however, enterprise leaders can build and maintain a momentum that affects positive and awe-inspiring outcomes.
For enterprise leaders to succeed in the modern global marketplace, they must readjust their mentality by prioritizing collaboration over competition. With this new mindset, they can also benefit by building strong relationships through partnerships with local figures, such as public officials, nonprofit leaders and community advocates. These relationships help socially conscious business leaders develop equitable and inclusive business practices. And in the long run, develop sustainable community and environmentally friendly policies and practices.
2. Be Willing to Collaborate
Networking is important for any business venture. Business leaders can accomplish more when their teams come together to support social initiatives, especially with third-party partnerships. To facilitate this, enterprise leaders find like-minded socially conscious entrepreneurs, who want to collaborate with others in supporting causes that benefit society.
This kind of collaboration requires a comprehensive, coordinated process for fostering beneficial partnerships. Additionally, effective collaborative initiatives include diverse team members who are willing to collectively contribute to developing sustainable social value for the company and the community.
3. Find a Cause
There are many ways that enterprise leaders can give back to the community, educate, and promote social change. It’s easy for them to find causes that they are passionate about and can support in some way. Larger companies often have extensive financial resources that they can donate to local charities and community programs. Beyond donating and raising money, enterprise leaders can donate gifts, promote social movements and volunteer their employees’ time as well as their own. Volunteerism speaks volumes about an enterprise’s sincerity.
To do this effectively, socially conscious business leaders align social initiatives with organizational objectives. For some enterprises, this simply means reducing their impact on the environment, and internally, enterprise leaders can practice social responsibility by treating employees fairly and ethically.
4. Define Success as a Team
There’s always a way for business leaders and enterprises to work toward social good. To accomplish this, it’s important to engage employees, consumers and community members while empowering them with a voice for promoting positive change.
Sincere and effective corporate social responsibility initiatives begin with the internal promotion of a culture of charity and volunteerism, starting with organizational leaders and then among staff members. Once solid momentum is achieved, the passion and dedication of socially responsible corporate leaders result in meaningful contributions that promote the betterment of society.
It’s difficult to manage these kinds of complex relationships, but with transparency and honesty, socially conscious business leaders can build trust with their partners and the community. With considerable planning that includes all vested stakeholders, anything can be achieved.
Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He is currently writing a book about scaling up business and his experience implementing lean methodology.