While we wait for the virus to loosen its grip on social distancing restrictions, it's a good time to do a health check on your social conscious. Plenty of companies are embracing community giveback programs in a bid to attract a new type of customer but how many of them are doing it well?
The problem lies in linking CSR activities with company objectives. The fact is, companies need to do 'giving' well otherwise they are simply making a donation. That's okay too but there's plenty of shareholders who also have a right to expect a return on social responsibility programs. At the same time, business owners and their people have a right to earn a living. So how do we do CSR better?
Here's five must-have's to improve your social responsibility:
Have a strategy
Look at your community partnerships and assess which ones are still green and growing and which ones have gone stale. Which ones firmly sit within your business strategy? The idea is to do less better but extend the term of each agreement that is working for you. On average a sponsorship peaks at three years so to exit any time before then is denying yourself the opportunity to properly grow the relationship and learn from the outcomes of the previous year.
Be clear on your purpose
Be absolutely clear about your big why. Is it to be more community-focused or perhaps its to put your business and industry on the map. You can say you're the greenest, cleanest or have the most integrity but how true are you to those claims? When your resolve is tested, as it has been about how to respond appropriately during times of crisis, it's easier to make informed decisions when you are clear about why you do what you do.
Align your values with your strategy
There needs to be alignment between your why; your values and your strategy. Empathy also goes a long way in defining these critical business priorities. When you come from a place of kindness, and have real empathy for the pain point of your people, your values will become evident. Your values shape who you are and your strategy is how you go about achieving your objectives.
The true cost of any CSR program needs to be measured for it to be completely understood. Measures can be done a number of ways and the default unfortunately, is to measure in terms of dollars. Why not look at it differently and start thinking about measuring your social impact. There's a dollar value after all for the time and expertise you expend to deliver your CSR program.
Have a consistency of presence
Be seen. It shows as a business that you care. It also demonstrates you understand the challenges being faced by your consumers as we continue the road to recovery.
As leaders you don't have to have all the answers but you need to be present in the community. Don't underestimate the significance of your role or how you are perceived by others.
Looking to boost your social responsibility program? Register as a sponsor on www.eventsponsors.com.au or email email@example.com