Could you answer the questions “how socially responsible is your business”? Most likely not.
Why? You probably have no reference point. There aren’t levels of social responsibility easily found to know where you are and how you can improve. To fill this gap, read on…
Could you Guess Your Type of Social Responsibility?
If I gave you 9 types of Socially Responsibly Businesses, do you think that you could guess which one you own or manage?
For example, are you Socially Apathetic or Socially Passive?
Are you Socially Strategic or Socially Adept?
Hint… if you had to ask, “What is Social Responsibility”, you definitely are not Socially Strategic! But for anyone who thought that here’s a quick answer. Social Responsibility is the idea that a business can contribute both to their profitability and to the greater good.
But, as I’ve shared in another blog post, I believe that Small Business Social Responsibility deserves its unique own definition, so I wrote one:
Definition of Small Business Social Responsibility: a commitment to contribute to the greater good by taking educated, informed, and impactful small actions and implementing mindful business practices that improve the world around you while also contributing to your small business growth and profitability.
Free Quiz (will take less than 2 minutes)
But, back to the original question at hand here, How Socially Responsible is Your Business? It’s not really an easy question to answer and depends on a few elements that are summarized below.
To make it easier and eliminate guessing, I have a FREE quiz that will quickly identify your Type of Socially Responsible Business (it takes less than 2 minutes).
[As of February 2020, the quiz is temporarily disabled. But stay tuned… it will be back but in a different capacity!]
Components of Social Responsibility
How is your type of Socially Responsible Business determined? It’s based on responses in the quiz related to the following three components of Social Responsibility.
1. Contribution to the Greater Good
Are you taking actions that contribute to the greater good? To make a difference in the world around you?
Are you intentionally doing things that fall within all four categories of Small Actions?
Business Integrity = Actions that enhance how you do business including interacting with your customers, employees, contractors, and suppliers (going beyond typical business standards). Or in other words, how you demonstrate your interest and dedication to conducting business in an ethical and upstanding manner.
Safety, Health, and Wellness = Actions that improve the safety of your work environment and the overall mental and physical well-being of your employees and customers. Or in other words, how you demonstrate your interest in the well-being of your employees and customers.
Environmental Impact = Actions that decrease the physical impact of your business on the environment both directly from your physical location and indirectly from your actions. Or in other words, demonstrating your interest in preserving and improving the environment.
Community Engagement = Actions that make a positive contribution to your community (keeping in mind that “community” can be defined in many ways – including a geographic area or a group of people). Or in other words, demonstrating your interest in serving and improving your community.
You can download afree infographic with the definition and examples of these categories if you want a visual reminder.
2. Commitment to a Social Responsibility Strategy
Do you have a formal approach to Social Responsibility? It’s one thing to take actions occasionally when they make sense or when prompted by outside sources. It’s another thing entirely to fully embrace Social Responsibility as an important element in your business and to implement a Social Responsibility Strategy.
Elements of a Social Responsibility Strategy include:
- A strong foundation that is connected to and grounded in your business’ purpose and identity, the key characteristics of your ideal clients and employees, and the overall strategic direction of your business.
- Clearly identified projects and processes that smoothly incorporate Socially Responsible Actions into your business operations.
- A routine process to evaluate the success of your actions, identify areas to expand, and ensure that you are maximizing the benefits of these actions for your business growth and profitability.
3. Communication of your Social Responsibility Efforts
And finally… are you communicating what you are doing?
Do your employees know how their efforts contribute to the Social Responsibility strategy? Do your customers know all of the actions that you take?
Have you shared your efforts with your community? If not, you are missing a major element that will help grow your business!
Take the quiz below to find out your level of Social Responsibility and receive a few quick tips and resources on how you can increase your efforts if desired.