What is Leader’s Social Responsibility & How to Get it Right?

August 23, 20194:03 pm
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Leaders! It is important to always keep updated with recent trend and phenomenon around you – not only in the office space but also in society. Why? Because the 21st-century world is shaped by leaders which means everything you do will either directly or indirectly influence society. 

Keith Grint said that leadership is a very complex concept. Over time, many definitions have been developed and there is no census on a universally agreed definition. And yet – without exact definition, leaders hold a huge responsibility in our world. They could take the world down or up in just one order.

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Socially, Grint added, leaders are responsible for not only about doing business but also about questioning how business is done and how much value their action brings to society. Additionally, the complex environment of work will require a leader to see the overall role of their company in a society in which it operates, indicating that you need to also deal with social responsibility. 

As a leader, you should be able to ensure through transparent and ethical behaviour that your organisation fulfils its duty for the whole society – making sure that the company system contributes to “social sustainability”. If you fail to provide ethical work and behaviour, it means the whole organisation fails too. And later, your company might not be able to thrive in the business competitiveness, or worse society might blame you for not taking your responsibility right.

The question remains, how does a leader achieve success in their social responsibility?

First thing, you should have knowledge about the company’s role in society. After that, you can focus on performing your social responsibility.

Understanding company’s role

In the age of responsibility, company should understand that they are being part of the society and social issues. Whether it is by empowering women, helping the environment, or trying to end poverty, businesses should be able to at least address one of these problems. You might take Coca-Cola Company as an example. They started an initiative to empower women across the globe by announcing a statement that says “The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020” – and actually act on it.

Having an open-eye on society and social issues can take your business to a higher level, too. You will become hard-to-beat-competitor as being part of society and social problem can bolster the company’s image and reputation. It can also boost employee morale and lead to greater productivity in the workforce.

Leader’s roles
1. Being part of charity business

The second step is that your company should involve more in a charity event. There are many ways to be part of charity business such as donating money, fundraising, and volunteering within a community. Leaders, in this move, should be the example and should both volunteer and encourage employees to volunteer. In addition, you should be able to align your charity event with a business goal in order to create mutual benefits.

For instance, if your typical customers are women, you can be a sponsor of an event in support of breast cancer research. Alternatively, if your business is about technology adoption, you might want to volunteer or work with a disabled community on how they can use the latest technology.

A study showed that customers are disposed to buy a product or use a service from a company that donates to charitable organisations. There are also numerous benefits you can reap while doing good deeds such as instilling company values, attracting and retaining top talents, improving teak work and company’s image.

2. Ethical business

You should ensure that your business ethics is associated with long terms of business success and corporate social responsibility. Business ethics is a principle used to ensure all employees act in an acceptable manner when completing business functions. Meanwhile, social responsibility is about an ideological theory that affects every organisation, government, and public in general. In other words, if you cannot get your work ethic rights, there is a great chance that you are not fulfilling your social responsibility.

Research by Teppo Sintonen also emphasised that business ethics and social responsibility should work in line to create high profitability and sustainability in business. Leaders, in this matter, should show care on ethical issues within an organisation that both align business goals and social goals.

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