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Steps to Creating a Social Responsibility Program

Steps to Creating a Social Responsibility Program

Author: James Howard

This lesson gives an overview of the steps to implementing a social responsibility program.

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Hello, and welcome to this tutorial on Steps to Creating a Social-Responsibility Program. Now, as always with these tutorials, please feel free to fast-forward, pause, or rewind as many times as you need in order to get the most out of the time that you'll spend here.

So we've talked about how important being socially responsible can be for a company. So how does a company ensure that it acts in a socially responsible way? Well, during this lesson, we're going to look at the steps in a social-responsibility program-- for setting one up. We're also going to look at social-responsibility programs in practice. And lastly, we'll take a look at change management.

So, steps in setting up a social-responsibility program. Well, there's six different steps. And we'll start with 0. The first one is need recognition. Someone in the organization, or a client, notices that there's a need for a social-responsibility program, or there's a hole in the company's social-responsibility program.

Next is planning. This is where the goals and objectives, the funding, the scope of the program come into play. Now, in planning this particular step, it's vital that the leadership and the higher-ups in the company get involved. If a program-- any program-- is going to succeed, it must start from the top of the company.

Next is action-- implementing the program. Getting it started and off the ground. Next, we want to look at the results that the program is generating. We want to clearly identify and link to measurable results that we can then track and observe to see if we're hitting the targets that we need to hit. Oftentimes, this is done with a committee within the organization that's committed specifically to that program.

Four is ongoing leadership. Here, the company sets up a clear organization of responsibilities to that program, to ensure it stays where they want it to be.

Lastly is follow-through. We want to check the program and want to make sure that it's being followed. You have to conduct audits, here. And when you find instances where the program isn't succeeding as well as it should, you need to alter and refine the practices that are involved, to ensure that the company stays where you want it to be.

Next, we're going to take a look at programs in practice. So let's say my company wants to set up a recycling program. So first what we need to do is someone within the organization, or outside, recognizes that we have a need for a recycling program. We're simply putting too much of our recyclable material into landfills, and it's creating a missed opportunity for us.

Next, we want to plan. So we get someone who's higher up to serve as a champion for this particular program. Then look at the goals-- what we want to do? Do we want to separate specific recyclables, or do we want to try to get all of them? How much recycling do we want to pull out of the landfill? What's the reduction in trash that we want to see when this program is fully implemented?

And typically that champion is going to be the one driving the planning for these goals and objectives-- how much it's going to cost. Or, if we're lucky, how much it's going to save us in the end.

Next, implementing the program and then looking at the results. Are we hitting the targets that we originally thought? Now here the champion will team up with a committee to look at the results and make sure we're hitting the targets that we need to hit.

And lastly is follow-through. Once the program is in place and it's up and running, we want to make sure that we continue the success that the program has brought us.

Now these steps that we just went through-- they're going to be true regardless of what size company that you have. Now with small businesses, it's easy to get distracted by the day-to-day operation of the business. If you remember-- partnerships, sole proprietors-- these folks have limited resources on their hands, as far as personnel are concerned.

So they're going to be busy running the business. Keeping up with a recycling program on top of that can be a big distraction. And it's easy to get lost in the weeds.

Larger businesses, however, have their own issues. Oftentimes they're going to need to roll out the program in multiple phases and across different locations. If I have a recycling program I'm trying to implement in stores across the country, that's a big task, and it simply can't be done all at once.

So let's talk about change management. What is it, exactly? Now people get comfortable, in certain situations, and they're typically resistant to change. And if you're going to implement any type of change within an organization, you're going to have to manage that change.

Now, don't worry. We'll cover this in a lot more detail in a later tutorial. But especially with a social-responsibility program, you're going to have to have a change-management team in order to make sure that the program works and it's accepted throughout the organization.

Leadership here is going to be absolutely vital-- and not just a leader for the team. We're going to need the higher-ups and the top brass in any company to put their seal of approval on it and help drive this change. If the leadership doesn't set the tone and create an environment that's adaptable to the change, then it simply won't happen.

So what did we learn today? Well, we looked at the steps in setting up a social-responsibility program. We looked at social-responsibility programs in practice, in our example with our recycling program. And lastly we took a quick look at change management.

I want to thank you for spending some time with me. Have a great day.