We hear a lot about the need for companies in all industries to become more socially responsible — but what does this really mean? A simple definition of social responsibility is striving to find a balance between increasing revenues and maximizing profits, and engaging in activities that benefit the local community and society in general. Adhering to this lofty ideal requires the development and implementation of an ethical framework that serves as a guiding philosophy for everyone from the organization’s top executives to its rank-and-file employees.
Today’s Consumers Expect Companies to Act in a Socially Responsible Manner
Social responsibility is more than just a good idea. Modern consumers expect and even demand that any company they choose to do business with exhibits socially responsible behavior. According to one public opinion survey, 88 percent of the respondents indicated that companies should focus on finding ways to achieve their business goals while simultaneously improving society and the environment. Additionally, 83 percent stated that companies should make financial contributions to nonprofit organizations. In short, if prospects and customers don’t view an organization as being socially responsible, there’s a good chance they will take their business elsewhere.
Social Responsibility Can Provide Long-Term Benefits
In addition to its competitive benefits, acting in a socially responsible manner can make a company more sustainable in the long run. Becoming more socially responsible often requires innovation, resulting in creative, outside-the-box thinking that permeates the entire organization. Because social responsibility draws attention to ethical behavior, companies that strive to become better corporate citizens also experience a positive change to the internal culture that produces a healthier, happier work environment.
Employees Are Seeking to Work for Socially Responsible Companies
Today’s employees, especially the Millennial Generation (individuals born since 1982) are also making social responsibility a central component of their evaluation process when applying for jobs and determining whether to stay with a company. According to Forbes magazine, 65 percent of workers would consider leaving their jobs if they believe their employer’s operating practices caused harm to the environment, while 32 percent said they would think of departing if their employer did not donate to charities.
SPC: Making Social Responsibility a Top Priority
Sharretts Plating Company has made a concerted effort to integrate social responsibility into our everyday business practices. We’ve implemented a concept we refer to as “impact investing,” which entails finding the best ways to leverage our expertise, technologies and services to support our neighboring communities. We’re also known as an environmentally friendly metal finishing company, which means we’ve focused on improving our internal housekeeping procedures and significantly reducing the amount of harmful emissions produced by our facility.
We don’t just view social responsibility as a smart business strategy — we firmly believe it’s the right thing to do for the communities we serve.