By maintaining high standards for corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership, companies not only adhere to government rules and regulations, but they also meet the expectations of their sponsors, stakeholders and customers. With increased visibility and exposure due to pervasive social media such as Facebook and Twitter, succeeding in business includes avoiding scandal and maintaining a stellar reputation. Typically, a company’s approach to corporate social responsibility encompasses environmental sustainability, social investments including education and nonprofit organizations, supporting employees, and governance activities.
Companies usually establish a corporate social responsibility policy that includes enabling a sustainable environment. Typically, this includes using technology wisely, managing energy and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions used in operations. This may even include those used by suppliers. For example, your company may sponsor recycling programs, use innovative packaging designs and obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
By participating in community activities, companies demonstrate a commitment to connect with constituents, including employees and customers. Companies with an investment in corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership best practices recognize that giving money for education and other nonprofit development efforts benefits society as a whole. For example, your company may encourage its employees, during paid business hours, to volunteer at local community centers, such as homeless shelters or soup kitchens.
Successful leaders realize that employees represent a company’s most valuable asset. Treating your employees with respect and dignity usually results in employee satisfaction, loyalty and dedication. By adopting fair hiring practices and promoting cultural awareness, companies can maintain a diverse workforce that’s ready to meet the demands of a dynamic global marketplace. Encouraging employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and their private lives ensures workers come to work in the right frame of mind to accomplish the company’s strategic goals with minimal distractions on the job.
By publicly stating a commitment to causes that align with the company’s mission and values, your company shows that it operates with integrity and transparency. Ethical leaders also establish a strict code of business conduct and train all employees and suppliers to meet high ethical standards. Integrity becomes more than compliance with laws and regulations. Employees recognize when something is wrong and know the right thing to do. A company’s core values may include integrity, respect and accountability. This leads to self-governance and prevents problems in the long run. For example, by communicating the rules effectively, ethical leaders ensure that employees know when not to accept gifts from suppliers, when not to share internal information, and when to report unethical behavior they may observe in the workplace.