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Earn Public Trust Through Corporate Citizenship

Earn public trust through corporate citizenship. The notion of being a “good corporate citizen” is the belief that every business must take an active role in satisfying widely defined stakeholder concerns. Addressing these stakeholder concerns means looking out for the collective interests of investors, shareholders, management, coworkers, customers, prospects, suppliers, and communities. Good corporate citizens demonstrate compassion and empathy toward others. Socially responsible businesses consider their impact on the workplace, marketplace, society, and the environment as well. By supporting causes that are relevant, meaningful, and consistent with corporate values and mission, these compassionate companies build trusting relationships with constituents. In business, public trust is earned by looking out for the interests of stakeholders and society.

Ethical and socially responsible companies align business behavior with universally accepted values of honesty, integrity, achievement, self-direction, equality, human rights, fair play, and environmental sustainability. They understand their role as corporate citizens and the effect their businesses have on those around them. Their owners and employees want to influence the world for the better. They often give generously to community, national, and international causes.

As corporate enterprises, businesses have an implied duty to satisfy more than profit goals. In addition to their fiduciary duty, leaders of socially responsible businesses are likely to take into consideration the economic, environmental, social, and ethical impact of their business decisions.

Strong, trusting relationships lead to positive public perception and engender loyalty. This loyalty can drive sales, generate incremental revenue, build social capital, and develop goodwill.

 Here are 20 excellent ways to express good corporate citizenship:

  • Host special events and programs that benefit the business and community
  • Support community initiatives that affect positive social change
  • Run causemarketing, promotion, and education programs to support social concerns
  • Contribute through corporate strategic philanthropy
  • Offer matching contributions to encourage others to give generously
  • Donate expertise, technical skills and know-how
  • Contribute other budget-relieving value in-kind resources
  • Encourage employee volunteerism
  • Provide scholarships and other assistance to coworkers and their families
  • Create jobs within the community
  • Provide fair salaries, equality promotion practices, and diversity in hiring
  • Develop human capital by advancing employee skills and providing job training
  • Institute health and safety initiatives
  • Make facilities universally accessible
  • Provide fitness facilities and childcare for employees
  • Pay corporate income taxes
  • Conserve natural resources; recycle and reduce environmental waste
  • Adopt a policy of sourcing locally grown and produced products
  • Source, produce and use environmentally friendly materials
  • Support fair trade practices

Corporate success and social welfare are interdependent. Corporations cannot exist without people and resources. Companies rely on communities and the environment to generate human and economic capital. It is in corporate America’s best interest to invest in the greater good of society in addition to its own welfare.

You may have heard the saying, “Doing good is good business.” Socially conscious companies are more apt to earn public trust by demonstrating good corporate citizenship. Building social value into the corporate strategy creates a competitive advantage.

In my next post about Corporate Social Responsibility, I will discuss ways Corporations Address Social Concerns. Socially responsible companies generate public trust by supporting social causes. Then look for a post on the advantages of becoming a Purpose-Driven Corporate Enterprise. See how good corporate citizenship enables corporations to create value beyond profits.


  © 2012 Anne Wall, All Rights Reserved.

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