Social Responsibility

Manila Bulletin, March 22, 2010 | Go to article overview

Social Responsibility


There aren’t too many companies in the Philippines that can boast of having a corporate social responsibility program for the employees and the community in general. This is so because many companies consider this as a cost that hurts their bottom line. They don’t realize that giving back to the community and to society can actually increase productivity and profitability. Companies often talk about their employees as their greatest asset yet many of them also pay lip service to this important element of the business…and this extends to the community they operate.What companies sorely miss is the fact that our employees make or break our company, in good times and bad. Consider a manufacturing company located in the province. Majority of the employees have roots, live and have families in the local community. Some of the employees of the company are third generation family members who have worked for the grandfathers of the stockholders. They have already identified with the owners as family and have thought of them as part of the family. Yet the owners failed to recognize this. They were treated as cost.Anything that happens to them or the company will significantly impact on the performance of the business. Yet, we take our employees for granted. We consider them as a cost.If we really think hard about it, our employees are our single most sustainable competitive advantage. Our employees are in the frontline interacting directly with our customers during their working hours. They are our ambassadors and how they interact will determine how our business is seen by our customers. Our employees represent the image and well being of the company. This is the main reason why we should give back to our employees and the community.Social responsibility takes on two targets: Our employees and the community to which the business belongs. They are actually linked together. We can measure social responsibility in many ways. It could be in the form of services or financial resources that we provide. Some companies allocate a certain portion of their profits for programs that support economic and social activities. Examples of these are livelihood, education and skills training, environmental projects, among others. Whatever form it takes, companies whose employees take active involvement in social activities are the ones who are the most loyal employees. People simply like to work for companies who care for them and their community. In the company I used to work for, we had a global community service programs such as providing support services to handicapped children. Employees volunteer to be like second parents to children suffering from leukemia every Saturday for 4 weeks straight. …

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