When you’re trying to cope with the various demands of running a business, social responsibility may not be top of your list. But perhaps it should be.
It seems that companies that focus on going that extra mile to provide additional value and to provide support to struggling communities can reap many benefits.
Big business is no longer all about profits and keeping the shareholders happy.
But it’s not all altruistic. Companies that look beyond profits and providing value for shareholders can reap genuine benefits.
Here are four principal reasons why doing good is a highly effective business strategy.
#1 A Happier Workforce
Companies that strive to do the right thing for their customers, employees and the wider world benefit from a happy and contented workforce.
People like to take pride in what they do and knowing that they work for a company that has an eye firmly on the bigger picture gives employees a real boost. They feel happier about going into work every day, participating enthusiastically in their allotted tasks.
It’s easy to see that a motivated and contented workforce will provide a much better service to customers than employees who feel indifferent, or even resentful, towards their employers.
Staff are far more likely to engage with each other and work efficiently, solving problems and exceeding targets. And this, in turn, leads to happier customers who appreciate the positive attitude and cheerful demeanour of contented workers.
But there’s another big plus for keeping your employees happy. People who enjoy their work and who feel valued and listened to by their employers are far more inclined to stay with the company for a long time.
High staff retention levels mean that you will spend much less time and money in sourcing and training replacement staff which has an impact upon overall business performance.
Once your company becomes known as being a great place to work, you’ll find that people will be queueing up to work for you.
Millenials and Generation Z, in particular, have a high affinity with improving the world in which we live
and prefer to work for businesses that are authentic and share their values.
#2 Better Service Delivery
Businesses that focus their efforts on achieving better returns for their shareholders don’t always direct the same amount of attention to their customers.
But in this digital age, consumers like to dig deep into the brands they engage with, in a way that’s never been possible until now.
A consumer considering making a purchase, or otherwise engaging with a specific company, will very often want to conduct a fair amount of research first.
With so much choice available, prospective buyers prefer to make use of companies that align with their values.
So organisations that show they add value to the world, or local community, are likely to stand out from the crowd and draw in customers.
Focus exclusively on the returns that you can offer to your shareholders and it’s fair to say that your business isn’t going to win many plaudits from consumers.
If the emphasis is on providing extra value to customers, communities and the world in general, then the buying public is much more likely to sit up and take notice.
#3 Identify New Markets
A business that looks inward is never going to engage with its customers fully.
When the bottom line is all about profits and shareholder returns, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
And businesses that fail to identify potential for growth are likely to stagnate and eventually die, or at least become irrelevant.
Companies that focus their attention on the wider world, whether that’s local community issues or international relief efforts, are better positioned to come across new markets and areas for growth and expansion.
Getting involved in issues beyond the company’s products and services opens up the door to additional opportunities, whether that’s identifying foreign markets or collaborating with other firms.
#4 Attract More Customers
Any business aims to promote sales and increase profits. But if the emphasis is on selling rather than customer satisfaction, customer numbers are likely to dwindle over time.
That’s because the modern consumer has a strong desire to make the world a better place.
Businesses that align with that desire are the ones that will stay the distance and thrive.
According to research by Nielsen, more than half of consumers around the world are prepared to pay a premium for goods and services from ethical companies.
Organisations that involve themselves in environmental and social concerns are the ones that consumers are flocking to purchase from.
A further research study indicates that an astonishing 90% of global consumers would be prepared to switch brands if it meant that they were contributing to a good cause.
And let’s not forget the power of social media in the current era.
We like to parade our buying choices across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, showing that we have a social conscience to others.
Sharing and liking posts enables the message to be disseminated to friends, family and acquaintances, who are likely to be influenced by things that they have seen or read on their social channels.
Of course, many firms will ignore the above evidence and continue to focus their attention only on providing excellent returns for their shareholders.
But in the digital age in which consumers like to know exactly what they are buying into, having a social conscience can be an optimum way to foster the best relationships with customers and employees alike.