Being A Socially-Aware Organisation
Private organizations must appreciate that being socially-aware is not just to donate monies to various charities every year 'though this effort is laudable. It is more complex and requires a lot more coordination and corporate planning.
However, the benefits of having a well-run social outreach programme can provide a great multiplier effect in terms of positive public perception and organizational identity. New admirers of this social contract can be easily transformed into a potential pool of new customers and at the same time this practice can boost employee loyalty.
But how can a socially-aware organization be developed from scratch? Here are some tips:
Every organization has unique short-term and medium-term goals. Ensure that the social goals that your organisation embraces are congruent with these goals. The public perception has to be clear and not confused. This may imply that your organization should be consistently supportive to a particular type of social contract for at least 5 years, which is in the medium-term.
Choosing a non-profit organization to support is more than browsing through a search engine or viewing a glitzy website. Your organization should also check the credentials of the advisory board and scrutinize the non-profit organisation's annual reports. It even pays to have a word with their executive director about possible synergy.
Your employees must have a united agreement about your organisation's social agenda. For instance, employee participation may be lukewarm in the very near term if your organization embraces the vegetarianism movement and a huge majority of employees are not vegetarians. Unless your organization has a mission that starts from changing the perception of employees first.
It is important to have a plan in the setting up of a fund. The easiest way is to have a percentage of your organisation's revenue be put into this fund. You can also have a system in which like-minded employees can have a portion of their salaries deducted for this purpose. However, this deduction has to be strictly voluntary and opt-in.
Create a Progress Report that can be accessed by both employees and customers. The progress report should be launched off your corporate server or included in your organisation's monthly newsletter that is posted to your customers.
Set up a standalone website to post details about your social cause. Get as many people to post their thoughts about the issue and encourage your employees to be moderators of these online forums. You can also grow a vibrant networking community from this site.
Encourage your employee's family members to get into the action of collecting donations for your organisation's social cause. This can be in the form of organizing a fun fair, walkabout or even selling personal items.
Your organization can also set some time-off for employees to create public roadshows and even give talks in schools.
About The Author
Colin Ong TS is the Managing Director of MR=MC Consulting.