Adding Intention to Your Social Responsibility | NAWBO

By Tanya Quinn, founder of Small Actions Greater Good and member of NAWBO Charlotte

Would you hire an employee who can’t fill the job description? Would you select a new product or service that isn’t interesting to your customers or clients? Would you implement a new policy that opposes your business values? Certainly not!

Whether consciously or not, you make most business decisions to align with and benefit your business. This seems rather obvious—why do something that doesn’t contribute to your business growth somehow?

Often, you take those decisions one step further by very intentionally considering how that decision connects to your mission, vision and values, whether it contributes to your strategic plans and how it impacts your employees, customers and community. Then, you accept, reject or improve your decision.

However, when most business owners and leaders choose to do social good through their business, otherwise called social responsibility, these critical considerations often get overlooked. Yet, every action you take as a business owner or leader should directly tie into and benefit your business. Doing good is no exception.

Before continuing, let’s clarify “socially responsible actions.” These are any actions you choose to take that go beyond normal operations and benefit the greater good, such as ethical business practices, promoting a safe work environment or healthy employees, reducing environmental impact, contributing to the community and more. 

If you balk at the idea of social responsibility benefiting your business, it’s likely due to common misconceptions. Many perceive it as solely altruistic, while others feel that discussing good deeds is bragging. But doing good and benefiting your business aren’t mutually exclusive. And bragging is not what you say, it’s how you say it.

If your socially responsible actions benefit your business, your business may grow, allowing you to do more good. They’re not mutually exclusive. By sharing what you do, you not only benefit your business, but you may also expand the reach of your social contribution and inspire others to do the same!

But to do this, you need to be as intentional with your social responsibility decisions as the rest of your business decisions. Here’s where to start:

Step 1: Reframe Your Perspective and Alter Your Approach

Begin by embracing a new perspective on social responsibility. Recognize that actions aimed at doing good CAN benefit your business. Then, alter your approach to carefully consider if each socially responsible action aligns with your mission, vision and values and whether it appeals to your employees, customers and clients. If the action doesn’t connect to your business or team, it limits potential business benefits and might not be the best choice. Consider replacing or improving it.

Step 2: Embrace the Power of “No”

Frequently, socially responsible actions come as suggestions or requests from external sources like employees, community members or nonprofits, such as donation requests for fundraisers and event or team sponsorships. Accept that it’s okay to decline requests. Consider establishing defined parameters for your social responsibility efforts. Doing so sets clear boundaries and offers a straightforward criterion for rejecting requests outside your scope.

Step 3: Learn Potential Benefits

Socially responsible actions have been proven to impact your business by:

  • Elevating brand awareness and reputation.
  • Strengthening employee relations and well-being.
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Potentially boosting financial performance.

Familiarize yourself with these potential benefits to better plan and incorporate them into your strategy. For a more extensive list of benefits within each category and proven statistics, refer to my blog.

Step 4: Plan and Execute Wisely

Treat socially responsible actions like any other business decision. Define their significance, align them with desired business benefits and ensure clear communication regarding your actions. Consider creating a strategic plan if your business or team engages in numerous social good initiatives, incorporating measurable goals, clear timelines and employee and customer goals to ensure effective execution and ongoing assessment for continual improvement.

Sharing Your Intentional Actions

Embracing deliberate decision-making within your business for social responsibility can bring about profound positive change. As you shift toward intentional planning, you help develop a community dedicated to purpose-driven success. Share your actions using the hashtag #MySmallAction to support and inspire others. Your intentional actions today can create a brighter, more responsible future.

To learn more about making your social responsibility easier, more effective and more sustainable, visit https://smallactionsgreatergood.com.

 


Share Your Perspectives on Social Responsibility!

Despite the growing emphasis on social responsibility, there’s a notable void in comprehensive data concerning small businesses. Help me fill this crucial gap! Participate in a national survey to provide insights and shape the future of small business social responsibility. Click here to share your perspective. Your voice matters.


 

About the Author…

Tanya Quinn is a passionate advocate, speaker and trainer devoted to aiding small business owners in conducting more effective social good. With nearly two decades of experience spanning private and nonprofit sectors, Tanya founded Small Actions Greater Good to address the gap in social responsibility resources tailored for small businesses. Tanya’s expertise in process and strategic development was instrumental in crafting the Small Actions Framework, her unique approach specifically tailored for small business social responsibility. Learn more here.