San Diego businesses wield an immense power to incite global change by taking action on socially-conscious deeds right in their own communities. Local companies have an incredible opportunity to ingrain a social mission into their business model, entrench that social mission into company programs and policies, and establish a culture of social responsibility among its workforce. Forward-thinking companies can make a tremendous impact in their local communities and change the world in a positive way. Your company too can shine as an inspirational example that others can look to as models of change.
Whether you are the boss, a staff member, a consultant or the janitor, there are many ways that you can help get your business started on promoting social change. Here are 5 ways that businesses can promote social change in the workplace:
1. Establish Your Social Mission: Just like setting any mission statement, your company’s social mission should establish long- and short-term objectives that are aimed at attaining a primary goal. Social missions should not just be about raising money or writing checks. Your social mission should be aimed at creating more dynamic solutions, such as increasing the number of long-term volunteers for a particular cause, promoting socially-conscious practices in the workplace, and seeking out permanent solutions to an ongoing problem. Here at DonorNation, we have several social missions: to give back to local schools, to practice sustainable reuse and recycling, and to support community outreach programs – to name a few.
2. Keep Your Mission Aligned: Sticking to your social mission does not come without its challenges. Sometimes, it may be easier or more profitable to take an easier route that turns its back on your social mission. Keeping aligned with your mission in all aspects of your company is not always a simple task, but it is one that you should make a concerted effort toward achieving on a daily basis. Seek out support among peers for certain initiatives or partner with outside organizations in order to ensure you are sticking to your social mission. Through our partnership with the La Jolla Playhouse, we are able to get involved in sponsoring outstanding community-minded events, such as the WoW Festival and Innovation Night.
3. Cultivate a Community: By building a community of local entities that are aligned in your social mission, you are holding each other accountable and creating something greater than yourself. Try connecting with organizations in the San Diego community with similar visions and goals. Whether for a one-time campaign or for a long-term partnership, DonorNation is always game for a conversation to see how we can help others with similar goals to help local schools in need. At DonorNation, we make it a point to practice sustainability by recycling daily at the office. We will also be donating 4,000 reusable grocery bags to San Diegans to help residents break their plastic bag consumption habit.
4. Empower Your Staff: Your workforce represents your company’s brand, its values, and its social mission. By creating a workplace culture that is committed to promoting social change, you are creating a team of leaders who will voluntarily rally for the cause beyond their work environment. You may need to offer incentives to encourage staff to take the time to volunteer or provide input the first time, but soon enough, you will realize how quickly your staff will come to see your company’s mission as their own. We encourage our staff to take part in the local education community to stay aware of the needs in our school communities. Our staff is also engaged by attending school district meetings, school PTA functions and other school-related discussions to stay apprised of the latest happenings at San Diego schools.
5. Be a Role Model: Practice what you preach. Don’t just write a few words down in your mission statement without living and breathing every word of it. If your company is set on reducing waste and going green, insist on using recycling bins in the office and bring your own coffee mug and dishware to work. If your company’s social mission is to help at-risk youth in the community, join a local mentoring organization on the weekends. No matter how big or small your contribution, keep a keen eye on opportunities to be a champion of your cause and inspire others to do the same.
The first step toward enacting social change is to believe you can actually change the world. Take small proactive steps today to take part in a big picture movement toward greatness, and encourage your business to think globally and act locally!
Does your business have a social mission? If so, what is it? If not, what would you like your business’ social mission to look like, and what proactive steps can you take to bring it to life?