Part One – Embracing Ethics – A New Customer-Driven Standard Executives everywhere are recognizing the benefits of developing a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. At the same time, we see our customers changing as well – they grow continually more hyper-connected, priorities shift, and attention spans get ever-shorter in an increasingly crowded digital marketplace. Today’s customers are a generationally diverse bunch, and their focus is more and more being led by a higher mix of generation Z buyers who are now asking businesses to combine more sustainable, ethical practices with long-range strategic goals.As we all know, the true benefits of any solid CSR strategy must be built into the very fabric of a company’s corporate vision – ensuring better working conditions, adopting more efficient production and delivery modes, supporting underserved communities and using more environmentally friendly materials – but doing so can also be an effective way to encourage customer participation in a company’s brand story.We have seen many high profile examples – most notably in the oil industry – shine a light on how lack of environmental awareness can have a devastating impact on customer perception. Others, such as FedEx’s donation of its fleet services to assist in disaster relief and international organ transport, highlight the potential to be found in using a corporation’s reach to benefit the common good. When companies show the public they are listening, both sides benefit.The beauty of a well-designed CSR strategy is that it offers a positive result in three distinctly important areas. CSR has the power to:Enhance the customer experience Benefit the environment on a global scale Significantly impact a company’s bottom lineIn an earlier blog, I discussed the ways in which social media have given customers an added power over the retail experience, forcing companies to incorporate their interests and demands into the creation of brand stories if they wish to establish trust and promote loyalty. But today’s consumers want to add another chapter to these stories. It is no longer just the availability of information – and how it is packaged – that matters. As we discovered in a recent Dell global CSR research project, customers have begun to take note of a business’ overall accountability as well:Across EMEA countries >75% of customers view CSR as importantAcross EMEA countries 60% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand associated with CSR initiativesExposure to CSR initiatives increases purchase intent + 13% – + 22%From the customer’s point-of-view, the global benefits of a solid CSR plan are obvious. But to effectively understand how CSR initiatives influence the overall buyer journey, we must first ask ourselves what the customer stands to gain from a psychological stand point. Clearly, today’s consumers feel a new sense of empowerment, and they are eager to flex their economic muscles. Their online reach has extended from simple product reviews to include not just the goods a company offers, but the practices and materials that go into their production, and they are now serving as a virtual ethical police force who feel not just a desire, but a duty to keep companies in check along every step of the product journey. These same social media platforms that have tipped the scales in favor of customers now stand as a platform for watchdogs intent on upholding a standard of global honesty and accountability. When a company’s actions are not in line with its words, the online response is immediate, and often calls the integrity of both brand and message into question. Today’s consumers are watching, and will stand for nothing less than model behavior.Looking Within – Strong CSR Policies Begin at HomeWith today’s hyper-connected eyes on the lookout for any potential corporate misdeeds, companies need to put honest thought into their long-range CSR plans. The days of paying lip-service, or “greenwashing” a company’s image, are thankfully a thing of the past.One smart way to do this involves looking to internal stakeholders and employees for guidance. When management takes an active role in CSR initiatives, the focus is sharper and the reach longer. Not only does this personalize a company’s strategy from within, it also allows employee experience to highlight what is most important to the company itself and ensure that the strategic CSR goals are in fact possible. This enables workers to feel personally vested in the outcome, while ensuring that the effort is genuine at the core, making for a more resonant public message. After all, according to Forbes Magazine, 83% of employees would seriously consider quitting if their employer engaged in unethical practices. We must not forget that employees are customers, too, and their firsthand enthusiasm is often contagious.In just a few short years we have seen the power exchange come full circle, and when a company attempts to align their corporate practices with the opinions of its loyal buying public, it allows customers the chance to have a positive ethical impact on the entire process. Such an impact resonates not only across the globe in terms of sustainability, but also in the minds of customers, in terms of trust.
Tweet Share LocalNews Public Works employees demonstrate for unpaid wages by: – November 18, 2011 Mr Thomas Letang (in the middle) demonstrating with members of his union. See photo gallery below)The employees of Public Works Corporation have staged another demonstration for delayed salary payments and salary deduction among other reasons.This morning, staff members along with union representatives were seen outside the Public Works Corporation’s office on Goodwill Road with placards demonstrating their concerns.General Secretary of the Public Service Union, Thomas Letang told reporters that they believe they have done everything humanly possible yet salary payment and deductions are delayed causing embarrassing and stressful situations for his union members.“We continue to experience the situation where people are working and not being paid fortnights upon fortnights they are not being paid and month end comes and month end goes and people do not get their salaries. We have done everything that we could do to really sick an amicable solution to these problems but it appears to us that some people are just not concerned as to what is happening at the Public Works Corporation; how employees are being seriously affected, you can look at some of the placards and they tell a story that they are not being paid and they cannot provide for themselves, they cannot provide for their families, a lot of uncertainty surrounds their jobs, we see projects going on and the corporation they are not getting work,” he said.A major concern for the employees of the corporation is that they believe they are being sidelined while other contractors are awarded contracts for ongoing road works and this places them at a disadvantage.According to Letang by staging this protest the employees are sending a clear message to the authority that enough is enough.“What you are seeing here this morning is just to send a clear message that we are fed up, that we want to work, that the employees have their commitments to the bank and at the end of the day some of them cannot meet those commitments, they have additional interest to pay, some of them are being threatened by legal action by some of the institutions and some of them they walk into the banks and institutions and cannot get a loan because nobody knows when their deductions are going to be made. Some of them they have insurance policies and you have to understand what that means; if you’re not paying your premium it means that your insurance can be cancelled, you get sick and believe that you are covered and you are not covered so therefore the problems are many and we believe that this morning we are just beginning, I repeat, we are beginning to send a message.”Here are a few photographs of this morning’s protest: [nggallery id=89]Letang also reported that he is “very happy that the members have decided to stand up, that they are fully behind the union and they are ready and the union is behind them 110%”.Meantime a female employee of the corporation says that protest should not be seen as a political one but as a protest over money issues and that they sacrificed their salaries for the implementation of an Asphalt Plant which has not brought any revenue to the corporation.“I love the prime minister, I put him there but I need my money. It is not a political issue it is a money issue for the public works workers and we are not getting work to do so we need work we need money. The monthly workers have not yet been paid for October and the fortnight workers haven’t drawn a fortnight. We sacrifice our salary to make asphalt for the Chinese to do the road and the Chinese refuse our asphalt that is our problem. I wouldn’t say that we are being betrayed by the government but we need our money; we have children to send to school, we have our bills to pay like everybody so we need our money,” she said.She further explained that there have been instances where the government has assisted vendors during the off-season while employees who have worked are unpaid.“When the tourist boats don’t come for two months the prime minister is paying the people, we work we’re not getting paid – we need our money. When the hurricane passed and it destroyed the vendors thing in the market, the prime minister giving them money we work – we want our money.”Another employee explained that the corporation is not receiving enough projects to make it a viable entity and that the government has left them in the cold.“We’re not getting paid on time and not getting viable projects so that Public Works can be a viable entity. Public Works is struggling right now because a lot of projects going on all around the country but where is Public Works? Public Works is a government institution. They have left us in the cold to fend for ourselves and yet we are government, that is not right and we are saying that we need to be treated better than that and we need viable projects so that we can be a viable entity,” he said.The union representative did not indicate what their strategy is moving forward, but he did indicate that they have exhausted all means to get the matter resolved and are at a point where they believe that they have had enough unfair treatment.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! 12 Views no discussions Share Share