Five steps to a good social mission

When a company has a social mission it simply means that they have an issue or issues they would like to address in order to make the world a better place. Do not mistake this with radical activists that hold up placard and demonstrate on the streets of Nairobi. A well thought out and executed social mission will cause increased employee morale and customer loyalty.

There are plenty things wrong with our country so finding a social mission shouldn’t be hard. The challenge however would be narrowing down the scope to something practical that your company can do. Here are five questions you need to ask yourself in order to achieve that.

1.      Does it make sense?
Your social mission should ideally not be tied to the product or service the company offers. It however should make sense to stakeholders.
For example, Safaricom in 2011 launched a phone recycling plan for sustainability purposes though they are not a phone company.

2.     Can you own it?
You need to focus your company’s passion and resources to a mission that can actually lead to change, not merely become one of many in a mission area.

3.     Does it have an unexpected angel?
Supermarkets produce a lot of plastic bags that more often than not end up clogging up sewer systems and littering our streets. Though unexpected, Nakumatt has labelled their plastics bags ‘Think green, Go blue’ to prompt people to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ the bags.

4.     Is your mission global?
This is mainly applicable to multinationals. They are in a better position to set global missions that can be carried out locally. This creates permanent employee loyalty because their community missions cause a global impact. A good example is Coca Cola.

5.     Is it the CEO’s pet project?
This may not be a bad thing given that motivated leaders push for better results, but caution needs to be taken. The question should be whether most of the stakeholders agree with the mission. Putting a football in every child’s hand in a slum area works better than making sure all students in international schools get a chance to go for a Euro trip.

The belief systems that drive employees and their business decisions should govern the mission being set. If a company and its employees are passionate about the social mission, the mission will be a success and more customers will fall in love with the company.  

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