We live in a world that is full of challenges, disasters, and tragedies. It’s a reality every time we turn on the news, whether locally or globally. For most people, when they see or hear about bad things happening in the world, they wonder how they can get involved or help support the cause. If that sounds like you and you’re a business owner, I bet you’ve thought of all of the ways that you can get your business involved as well. But being a “socially conscious” business takes more than just sending “thoughts and prayers” to those in need, it’s about taking those thoughts and putting them into action.
Start With Your Culture – If there’s a cause that you’re passionate about as a business owner, there’s a good chance your employees care about it as well. Talk about the causes you want to support and elicit feedback from your employees on what they support as well. It’s important to make it known to your employees that giving back is a priority, so communication is key.
Drive Your Values – Chances are your business values already have laid the groundwork for how you plan to operate as a socially conscious business. Including the groups of people, a geographic region, or cause you’re interested in supporting directly in your values provides a great way for your employees and customers to learn about and understand your priorities.
Align It To Your Business – The quickest way for these new initiatives to fail is not aligning them to your business or values. If you manufacture or sell products that can be useful for donations or can contribute a portion of sales, that’s an easy way to get involved and give back. It doesn’t have to be complicated, all you have to do is care.
Put It Into Action – This can always be the trickiest part, because it’s easy to talk the talk, but you need to follow it up by walking the walk. It goes a long way with your customers, internal and external partners, and your employees when socially conscious initiatives and community improvement projects are consistent.
For most of us, it’s a goal to leave the earth a better place than we found it. It’s up to each one of us as individuals to take the initiative and do what we can to improve our communities and support those who are less fortunate than we are. As businesses, finding opportunities to reduce our impact, drive social change, and improve the communities we do business in is less of a nice to do and more of a need to do. By focusing on embedding the importance of giving back in your company culture and values, tying it to your business, and putting it into action, you’re well on your way to becoming a socially conscious business.