Business Social Responsibility: Building an Organization of values, compassion and integrity.
‘They have not only mastered the art of multiplying wealth, but also the art of community philanthropy.’
Socially responsible businesses approach development holistically. In an effort to make an impact in this world, they respond to large global challenges spontaneously, regardless of their own size. They attend to social issues by raising social capital and simultaneously motivating their employees and stakeholders within their ecosystem to make meaningful contributions to the community that enables their business. They are able to take responsibility of their company’s activities that affect the environment and its people. A good example for this is the electronics giant, Apple keeping its packaging environment friendly by encouraging use of 99 percent recycled paper products.
The community angle
Socially responsible businesses have shifted their philanthropic focus from adopting causes to adopting communities. The shift is encouraging as they realize that impact is not just measured by numbers but also the real-time response of people who are affected by the problem. The GE Foundation contributed $88 million to community and educational programs in 2016 while Cisco’s CSR programs make use of the company’s technology and resources to aid emaciated communities with education, healthcare, economic empowerment, and disaster relief.
Organizations design CSR initiatives and impact that marries their business vision. For instance, Linkedin being a social networking site has owned the initiative to connect underprivileged communities to economic opportunity. They partner with youth training organizations, veterans career services, refugee resource networks, and more.
Walt Disney’s social mission resembles their business mission which is to strengthen communities “by providing hope, happiness, and comfort to kids and families who need it most” . In lieu of this Walt Disney has spent over $400 million to nonprofit organizations in 2016. Following this initiative, they were ranked one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune for two consecutive years.
Why do we need more socially responsible businesses?
It has been apparent for Corporate/ Business Social Responsibility (CSR) teams to work closely with their respective marketing departments and objectives, but CSR activity has swirled positive effects for the human resource (HR) department’s agenda, as well. Social activities aid in increased job satisfaction and retention of purpose-driven employees. This is achieved by involving the employees in the macro and micro processes that designing and implementing a social responsibility campaign.
Large organizations that lack human communication between the top management and bottom executive levels are constantly stifled while finding ways to improve job satisfaction. 83 percent of Deloitte employees say that pro bono work has made a positive impact on job satisfaction and 60 percent reported “significant gains in job-relevant skills”. Such activity has also encouraged employees to spend their time in working pro bono for a cause that they believe in.
This has led way to community philanthropy where employees remain purpose driven and pick up opportunities that allow them to work for a common cause. Jennifer Dickey pointed out in a study by NYU that “purpose-oriented employees” tend to remain with employers 20 percent longer than those at other companies and are about 47 percent more likely to be more engaged promoters of the companies they work for.
IBM is another such organization that has combined the World Community Grid with the computing power of idle PCs and mobile devices across a worldwide network for an equivalent of 167,000 years of computing time to support projects such as cancer treatment research.
How do we get there?
Many large organizations believe that their expanse continues to grow by keeping the value of social responsibility among their core values. They are successful, on a continuous path of growth and looked upto not just because of their financial worth but also because how they impact the abandoned and unattended communities and causes.
SAHAVE is an attempt to bring such driven businesses in touch with their other side. It is an attempt to bridge the gap between profit-driven business and community-driven business. It is the difference between achieving just financial growth, and achieving holistic success for a single community, a country or even the world.