With 87% of Americans making buying decisions based on the issues they care about, your social responsibility matters. It’s a policy that can make or break your company.
Do you have a long-term plan for your business? If you do, it has to embrace social responsibility. Read on to learn the importance of social responsibility.
What Is Social Responsibility?
Social responsibility is the recognition that businesses operate in a complex and interrelated environment. Being socially responsible is a moral and commercial imperative.
As a business owner or leader, you may want to do the right thing. You may also find that the wider community might also expect you to be socially responsible and hold you to it.
Social responsibility can be simply characterized as concern for people and the planet.
Who are these people in this definition?
“People” can most obviously be customers or potential customers. it wouldn’t be hard to see why a concern for them might make good commercial sense. People might also include suppliers and especially the workers employed by suppliers.
“People” can include your own employees and the community in which you operate. That’s the near environment, the community in which you pay your taxes, and perhaps the one you damage with pollution or enhance with charitable activities.
The social responsibility that relates to the planet includes energy consumption, carbon footprint, and sustainability.
The Importance of Social Responsibility
Social responsibility matters for your business because you want it to be sustainable. Long-term business survival and success depends on healthy supply chains, customers, and communities. Helping all these elements of the environment to thrive is good for business.
This sustainability is important for everybody. This is why businesses are increasingly being held accountable for their actions by stakeholders. Stakeholders can use their power to make choices about who they do business with on the basis of their social responsibility.
It’s not only what you do that matters. Reputation matters too. It’s not enough to do the right thing if you are not seen to be doing the right thing too.
Employees Love It
Employees love to work for companies that are socially responsible. There’s evidence that millennials are especially motivated to work for employers who act philanthropically.
If you want to attract millennials and retain them, make them feel that they are making a difference to their local community through their employment.
Customers Expect It
Customers are making buying decisions on the basis of perceived social responsibility. Marketing trends for small business indicate this is important.
Commercial clients are concerned that their supplier base is acting responsibly. After all, an association with poor social or environmental practices rubs off on them. Reputational risk is an ever-present danger.
Consumers are exposed to media coverage of business practices. Environmental and employment practices are covered by the news media. It can be one of the factors that they use to decide which brands they want to support.
Decisions about investing in business include a risk assessment. Reputational risk and sustainability have to be part of any investor’s due diligence before investing. If you can prove your business is socially responsible, then you can prove its sustainability.
Engage with your social responsibility. It’s the right thing to do. Don’t underestimate the importance of social responsibility for business sustainability.
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