In order to stay solvent, businesses must sell products or services that are trusted by their customers or clients and able to generate the kind of revenue that will satisfy the needs of employees, partners, investors, vendors, and shareholders. But those aren’t the only stakeholders of responsible companies today. There’s also their communities at large.[sg_popup id=91]
In the days of the robber barons, the only goal of entrepreneurs was to turn a profit — and the more sizeable the better. But things are different now. The most trusted corporations in America are those that are seen as being good corporate citizens.
Corporate social responsibility describes the noble deeds a company commits, not just its skill at turning a profit. It encompasses the charitable donations made and the social leadership is shown to improve the conditions of those in the cities and regions embracing the organization. In the case of some global concerns, that “community” is the world at large.
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, can be defined in a multitude of ways. For some companies, it includes financial donations made to causes or concerns that might range from the environment or public health to education, arts, and culture or countless other areas of need. CSR is also defined in terms of moral leadership and the encouragement of employees and other stakeholders to volunteer their time boosting their communities.
As the world becomes smaller and trade expands globally, the footprint of large corporations has expanded accordingly, and so has their sense of moral responsibility within that footprint. That’s why the most highly respected corporations today have tackled such challenges as clean water, landmine disposal and the eradication of diseases we aren’t even familiar with in America.
Many younger consumers no longer feel that corporate responsibility is a voluntary pursuit; it’s mandatory if the company wants any hope of getting their business. Millennials, now the largest generational group in America, have made that point known in survey after survey. Business is more than transactional to them. They want to establish long-term relationships with good corporate citizens who support their desire to help make the world a better place.
What that means is that there’s not only an altruistic motivation for going above and beyond. There’s a bottom-line rationale as well. The organizations that inspire and make a positive impact will be rewarded intrinsically.
That reputation for good deeds will also inspire and energize corporate workforces and keep morale high. That’s because workers — especially younger employees — feel proud to be a part of an organization with a reputation for doing good. A brand associated with good CSR will be better positioned to attract and keep a quality workforce.
The InWhatLanguage Story
Within the corporation InWhatLanguage, social activism takes several forms. InWhatLanguage is a company that offers translation services on a global scale. One of its missions, conducted in association with the company’s language professionals and such respected partners as the World Health Organization (WHO), is to provide no-cost or highly discounted translation services to the benefit of vulnerable communities around the world.
As part of that mission, InWhatLanguage translates critical information for disaster-affected communities in order to help frontline responders and the affected community to communicate information that can help save lives in the aftermath of catastrophic events.
With some 569 million people victimized annually by natural disaster events, InWhatLanguage saw that there was plenty of critical need for the services the organization provides — and all too many grateful recipients of their assistance.
InWhatLanguage also demonstrates its sense of social responsibility, the company has offered grants and micro-grants to linguists around the world and to English Language Learner (ELL) programs in the U.S. These funds are then used to help empower non-English speakers here to partake of the American Dream.
Watch this short video where CEO of inWhatLanguage Cody Broderick explains the way in which they make a global impact with CSR.
Also read: Social Impact (Capitalism For A Cause)
Some of these examples demonstrate the concept of CSR in particularly dramatic fashions. Not all organizations will be able to demonstrate this element of their culture in response to natural disasters around the world — and they don’t have to. What’s important is to find your own purpose and ability to serve others in a corporate sense. Discover what’s important to your people or most in need in your communities. And use the products and talents at the foundation of your organization in charitable ways.
For instance, if yours is a healthcare organization, consider donating time and resources to provide free wellness services or education to an underserved population.
Regardless of your line of business, your organization can build a culture of corporate social responsibility by understanding your communities from up close. Access the talents and instincts of your people and soak in their enthusiasm for involvement. Let them know that you want your brand to be known as one that makes a difference, and encourage their participation. You’ll gain a strong reputation as a good corporate citizen, strengthen your brand and take actions that really will improve lives.
Our mission is to break down language and cultural barriers and to unify people. We do this by utilizing in-country human linguists and translation technology to deliver global branded content. Learn more at inwhatllanguae.com