June 24, 2017
STRATEGIC SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Social Responsibility and policy are key issues in strategic planning. Successful companies should do well to integrate them in their business.
Strategic planning should consider the impact its goals and objectives will have on the surrounding community. This is especially true of companies that depend on planetary resources. As David and David (2017) addresses the issue, “Employees, customers, and shareholders have become less and less tolerant of business ethics violations.”
Image (company social brand) impacts revenues.
Businesses are employers of their local community, respectively. Every day, at the end of a workday, thousands of walking advertisements go out of the doors of companies and return back home to their neighborhoods and communities. Having a bad reputation as a bad employer, environmental polluter, sexist, diversity exclusive, handicap unfriendly, low-wage payer, etc. can have a negative impact on the employees, quality or product and service, potential customers and clients, local government and other revenue impacting factions. It can morally and financially bankrupt a company.
What message is your company sending? What picture are your employees painting about the real company where they work?
Part of any marketing campaign should include sponsorship of local charities, causes and events. Positive PR should always be a goal of the company. It builds social collateral, if the company ever needs the community to ratify provisions that are favorable to the company or allows the company to do something not part of the zoning code or city charter.
Social responsibility isn’t a cause. Pontefract (2017) argues “It is a way of operating. It (is) the way an organization operates. Although there are some ‘social good’ aspects of demonstrating a higher organizational purpose, it does not manifest simply through annual corporate social responsibility documents.” Purpose is more than making a display of having a cause. It is a manner of being for the organization.
Servant Leadership believes employees are people. It encompasses a concept known as internal customer; treating associates with the same level of care we provide external customers. It aids in higher levels of retention for employees, clients and customers. It espouses that companies shouldn’t always take. They should give, in return. Without employees, leadership wouldn’t have products and services. Without customers, there would be no revenues to sustain the company. Therefore, a little gratitude is in order. Community involvement is a great way to give back.
Mostly, schools teach kids how to be workers. It doesn't teach leadership, entrepreneurship, innocation, strategic thinking, critical listening and other forward thinking skills, across the spectrum to every student.
Leadership must remember and appreciate they work with associates. The associates don’t work for them. They work for the company. Therefore, strategic decisions must ensure the longevity of the company.
If a happy employee is a productive employee and the businesses want to keep their customer base happy and loyal, treat the people who interact with the customers well and they will, in turn, treat the customer with the same passion they have from their job satisfaction.
David, F. R. & David, F. R. (2017). Strategic management: A competitive advantage approach, concepts and cases (16th ed.). Prentice Hall. Boston, MA: Person Education, Inc.
Pontefract, D. (2017). Purpose is not a cause. Just ask Salesforce. Leadership Excellence Essentials, 34(1), 15-16.