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Social Responsibility Plan: How to do it

What is Social Responsibility?

Social responsibility means that companies, in addition to making money for shareholders, must act in a way that benefits society. A company with social responsibility aims at the well-being of everyone, both the employees and the people who consume its products and/or service including ethical responsibility, by ensuring fair business practices across the board, philanthropic responsibility, by giving back to the community and donating to relevant causes, economic responsibility which implies taking good and sustainable business and financial decisions and environmental responsibility by engaging in environmentally friendly practices and reducing their footprint in the environment.

Why is a Social Responsibility Plan Important for Companies?

Effective social responsibility campaigns not only benefit the designated causes, but the companies involved as a whole. Studies indicate that companies with strong social responsibility programs have better morale, greater efficiency, a stronger public image and better employee loyalty. Another factor has to do with the market and the way of consuming that has been changing every day. Today there are new concepts and the consumer has been more demanding in relation to the product they consume and the values that the same product adds. People are more concerned about purchasing products and services from companies that care about their employees, that pay what is owed, that care about the environment and the surrounding community, meaning that they cause positive impacts inside and outside of the company. When an organization shows that it is committed to the community inside and outside its company, people feel more secure and confident to do business with it.

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How Can Companies Launch Meaningful Social Responsibility Initiatives?

These are some ideas that can help you create a social responsibility plan that allows you to achieve the desired impact:

1. Choose a cause that is authentic to your brand.

The first priority should be to find an initiative that matches your company’s mission and vision . By choosing a cause that the company is committed to in the long term, your initiative will have more meaning and greater impact.

2. Engage customers.

Customers want and expect brands to be involved in social issues; adopting socially responsible policies goes a long way towards attracting and retaining customers, which is essential for a company’s long-term success. In addition, people will normally willingly pay for goods, knowing that part of the profits will be channeled to social causes.

3. Motivate employees.

Do not hesitate to encourage and promote employee participation in charitable initiatives. It is well known that when employees participate in programs that are important to them, their relationship with the company is strengthened and they are more dedicated to their own work functions.

4. Partner with charitable organizations.

It is also important to partner with one or more non-profit organizations, community-based if possible. These partnerships allow your company to leverage your knowledge of the issues and to create real and lasting change.

It is also important to understand that for a better connection with your target audience these campaigns must be publicized (through traditional means or through social networks), which can help to amplify your message.

How to be a Socially Responsible Company in Practice?

Many consumers are expecting to see positive attitudes and behaviors from their favorite brands and to be able to identify them in their daily lives. Here are some forms of social responsibility in vogue that you can apply to your company as well.

1. Reduce environmental impact.

This is a strategy widely used by many companies. Opting for less polluting raw materials, cataloging and separating waste, reusing and recycling, supporting cleaning campaigns, donating to environmental organizations, are some examples to follow.

2. Educate the target audience

Who doesn’t need financial education? Or nutritional education? Or promoting road safety? Depending on your area of activity, you can choose an impact theme and give valuable tips that can add knowledge to your consumers.

3 . Voluntary actions.

How about encouraging employees to do volunteer work? A practical tip is to visit homes for children and the elderly. Just a simple visit can do good for the people who live in these places.

4. Make donations to social institutions.

There are several institutions whose main objective is to promote a better life for the less privileged communities in our country. It is important to help them stabilize financially. This money will be used in various programs and projects that bring good food, education, health, clean water and other basic survival items to those who have very little.

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How to Choose the Social Institution?

Making a financial donation to an NGO is much more practical for everyone in your company and helps the community a lot. The question is: how to choose the institution? How to choose the one that will guarantee the money is applied in the desired purpose? Here, the ideal is to research the history of this NGO. The more information you have about the institution, the better. Also check if it provides an audit of accounts, if it is possible to obtain a certification that the donation really went where it should go, among several other factors that must be taken into account.

Adopting socially responsible practices increases customer retention and loyalty, increases employee engagement, enhances brand image, attracts investment opportunities and top talent, and makes a difference to your bottom line. However, it is important to emphasize that social responsibility must be something true and voluntary. Brands must transmit to the public that its desire to contribute to the society is real and sincere.

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