In the age of informed participation, people are increasingly asking businesses to make decisions based on what is ethically and morally right and focus on their impact rather than just their bottom line.
As an employer, it may be difficult to decide whether it is your place or even in your best interest to act on these issues. Your business may be subject to consequences, such as loss of business, damaged employee morale, turnover, strained business relationships, public boycotts, and more. However, refraining from getting involved is itself a choice that may trigger similar consequences. So how do you decide whether you should get involved?
Having reservations about getting involved is understandable when the potential backlash for missteps can be severe. However, when done correctly, you may reap rewards like customer and employee loyalty, new business opportunities, and public recognition.
Traditionally, social responsibility is a self-regulated concept where companies include social and environmental initiatives into their operations. The level of responsibility towards social issues continues to expand, and many organizations don’t know where to draw the line. Organizations are increasingly expected to weigh in on everything from politics and gender discrimination to civil rights and racial discrimination. Consumers want to see meaningful contributions and actions to support social causes that matter, since businesses have a greater influence than individuals. Corporate social justice is an extension of corporate social responsibility that asks for more accountability from our business leaders.
Unfortunately, there is no clear or definitive answer that we can provide that says when and how to intervene in social issues. Ultimately, it is up to your organization to decide whether, when, how, and how much to get involved in these matters. You can, however, follow our FREE Deciding to Get Involved (or Not) on Social Justice Issues Guide for some of considerations you should think about.
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