When deciding which businesses to patronize, customers consider more than just the products and services offered. For many customers, the social goals and practices of a company are just as important as the quality of their products or their customer service. To gain a competitive advantage and stay relevant in consumers’ eyes, businesses of all sizes need to set social goals and ensure they are met.
The social objectives definition is the company’s commitment to manage the impact of its business on social, environmental and economic factors. This is also sometimes called corporate social responsibility.
Setting social goals and seeing them through affects every aspect of the business, from human resources to sales, marketing and development. In fact, social goals are often an important objective of a business plan and are in line with the mission, vision and values of a company.
Social goals are not just the responsibility of large corporations. Small businesses can also take part in corporate social responsibility to make a difference in their society and attract like-minded consumers.
One of the main benefits of social goals is that they help to improve the public image of the company. This shows consumers that the business is going above and beyond to help the society in which they operate. Corporate social responsibility can lead to increased media coverage for businesses, particularly if their social goals are timely, like volunteering to wrap gifts at a local mall around Christmas, for example.
Other benefits of social goals include attracting investors and increasing employee engagement. If the social goals align with an investor’s world view, she may be more inclined to work with one organization over another. Likewise, employees who share the same social goals of the company will be more motivated at work when they know the company as a whole is working toward the same objectives.
A social goal that many companies set is to conduct ethical business with their partners, suppliers and other stakeholders. What those practices are will differ from organization to organization. Some companies may focus on business practices that are sustainable and environmentally friendly, while others may choose to only work with international partners who have ethical labor practices. The idea is to set social goals that are in line with the overall business objectives of the company and that relate to the organization’s target audience.
For many businesses, giving funds to charities and nonprofit organizations is a major part of their social goals. Money isn’t the only thing companies can donate. Many organizations give supplies, products and services to charitable causes and local community programs. This not only helps those organizations but shows local communities that the business cares about their well-being.
For some businesses, ensuring equal opportunity employment for all of their staff is a top priority. This can include promoting equal seats for men and women at the executive level or providing internship programs specifically for students who require financial aid. Equal opportunity doesn't always need to be on a grand scale. Small gestures like having a gender-neutral bathroom in the office can go a long way, as it shows the company's commitment to being inclusive to LGBTQ+ members of their staff. Similarly, companies that offer dedicated pumping rooms show their commitment to new moms in their organization. By establishing a social goal that encourages equal opportunities, companies can attract top talent who share those views, in addition to creating positive publicity.
Giving their time and expertise is a priority for many organizations. This social goal involves helping individuals or groups that would not normally have access to members of the company. For example, many corporate law offices do pro bono work with low-income clients. There are many opportunities for small businesses to volunteer their time and expertise too. Bakers can teach students how to make delicious goods, while mechanics can offer free oil changes to a special audience segment for a limited time.