Contributed by Barbara Horne of thebusinesschannels.com
The days of make money at all costs are quickly disappearing. There is value to be built-in products and services that bring profit to society and the bottom line. As a busy executive woman and manager, you can use these five simple tips to incorporate social responsibility into your management style and, ultimately, your company’s culture:
- Raise the Question
Each time you have the opportunity to take part in developing a product, service or new strategy, ask the group what the implications of this ‘new effort’ are to the environment and to society. If there are risks to people or the planet, ask how it can be re-strategized or mitigated. You can cite examples of “socially responsible” efforts of other companies in your industry and make mention to any news articles or press releases on their website. You don’t have to have the answer, but simply raising the question may get others thinking.
- Check out your supply chain What is the impact of the products your company purchases on society? As a customer, you can comfortably ask your vendors about their CSR efforts. You may get some new ideas and new news to boast about to your customers. When selecting new vendors, look to your local area first. You can get leads from the café where you get your coffee or the restaurant where you have lunch. You will be surprised at who they know or what they overhear. And they can help you spread the word.
- Perform CSR check ups Make sure customer surveys or focus groups include questions on how they think your company can be more socially responsible and how they think you are doing so far. This will let you improve existing efforts and gain new insight directly from the customer.
- Track your efforts
A simple Word Document or Notes on your Blackberry which tracks the ideas/efforts, the dates initiated, and the resources needed will allow you to quickly implement the next CSR initiative. You can look back and see what worked and what needs improvement. Having the document on hand will enable you to offer examples of successes at meetings as well as let your colleagues know the positive impact made. Make your tracking system simple so you will be consistent in using it.
- Be an example
As a leader, make sure you are seen recycling, hiring from local companies, checking your supply chain and tracking your efforts. You don’t always have to say it; sometimes you just have to be seen doing it.