You should be driven to success by your industry, business
skills, creativity and ethics, and not conflicted by them. You can
still run a profitable business and benefit society at the same
time. Euge Power, solicitor at Swaab Attorneys, sets out some of
the ways that a business can be socially responsible.
Are you worried your desire to do the right thing socially is
practically impossible given your cut-throat industry and
If you structure your socially responsible business effectively
your ethics can be the difference you need to succeed in your
industry, by attracting new customers, enhancing your reputation,
and attracting the best employees and new investors.
In the previous article in the Social Responsibility Series, I
looked at B-Corporation certification. Here are some other examples
of initiatives our clients have taken to make their businesses more
Make social responsibility a priority in your
constitution. Socially responsible investors will take you
more seriously if you can show them you are putting your money
where your mouth is. Putting your standards or minimum expectations
into your constitution shows your commitment to the cause is
enshrined in your business.
Implement ethical employment policies. If you
can show prospective employees that you have policies which promote
and reward socially responsible behaviour, this is likely to lead
to increased engagement from your workforce.
Give a little. Be involved in something which
helps you connect with people. Do it without expecting anything in
return. People see the good and want to be part of it.
Empower your employees. This can be letting
employees decide how to contribute – sponsoring a cause,
taking leave without pay for a humanitarian mission, employee team
building by working in a soup kitchen, blood donation drives or
tinned food drives. The opportunities are limitless.
Pro bono. Usually a term affiliated with law
firms, pro bono services or goods can be provided by any
business. Providing your time or services free of charge is a great
way to give to those who may need something which your business can
Charitable donations. Businesses can organise
a workplace-giving program which allows for employees to put
pre-tax dollars towards a charity chosen either by the employee or
the business. Organisations like the Charities Aid Foundation
Australia set up to help you implement these sort of programs
to make it easy.
Do not depart from the contract terms, or encourage the other party to do so, unless you plan to alter the contract.
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