I’m Christopher Hughey, founder and CEO of Fast Layne Solutions, Inc., based in Charlotte, NC. I’m guest-blogging here today to talk about the importance of clarifying and documenting your social, not just your business, mission, and of having a clear Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
It's the kind of thing you learn in Business School 101: Make sure your business has a clear mission statement and that everyone in the organization is aware what that mission is so that their work and goals can be aligned to it.
But is your mission statement incomplete? If it's only addressing your business mission, it absolutely is. A fundamental tenet of Corporate Social Responsibility is that there are four levels of obligation for any business: economic and legal (those are the no-brainers: we need to turn a profit and we need to do it legally); but also ethical and philanthropic (we need to maintain high ethical standards and serve our community stakeholders). That's why from Day One, Fast Layne Solutions set out with two parallel and equally important missions: our business mission and our social mission.
Our business mission is to bring together all the best industry solutions under one roof to create an affordable, one-stop shopping experience for small- to medium-sized, independent physicians’ practices who need cutting-edge tools and services to maintain their independence, stay profitable, and compete with the large corporate providers and hospital systems.
Our social mission is to give back to the communities we serve. That started with a commitment to earmark 5% of our net, post-tax profits to St. Jude Children’s Hospital for pediatric oncology research. But it goes beyond that: we also work with local non-profits to help create new revenue streams by tying successful referrals to ongoing revenue-sharing with them. We’re even kicking off a project to create great jobs in economically distressed areas and to fight the “healthcare deserts” that often plague them.
Once you’ve identified your combined business and socials missions, you need to ensure that both your customers and your employees fully understand it. Our missions are published to our company website, and every employee and contractor is equally aware of both missions and the importance we place on them. We also have a dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility page on our website so that everyone who does business with Fast Layne Solutions understands the expectations and standards to which we hold ourselves. We’ve broken down our corporate social responsibility obligations into three categories (but your own organization may have a different approach). We distinguish among 1) philanthropic; 2) ethical; 3) and environmental.
Does your organization have a clear social mission and a written corporate social responsibility policy? If not, you’re not fulfilling your whole mission.