As a pioneer in India’s energy industry who has served as a frontrunner in the green energy movement, Prashant Modi has witnessed just how much corporate social responsibility has caught on in recent years.
Not only are social entrepreneurs taking on new challenges to deliver life-changing concepts in business, but they are also reaching out to think about how their work truly impacts the entire globe.
Although corporate social responsibility is a major step in business evolution, Prashant Modi explains that this trend will only continue to evolve.
He states, “Business leaders are starting to realize how their companies can positively impact the planet and are beginning to see results. 2014 should be an exciting year for CSR and social entrepreneurship, as innovators are figuring out how to improve upon previous strategies to create an even brighter future.”
Corporate Responsibility in 2014
It is important for all business leaders to jump on the trend of social responsibility. However, it is also vital for them to understand where this concept is headed.
Here are just a few trends that Prashant Modi believes will become more predominant in the next year of corporate social responsibility.
- Social Responsibility – Not Just For Big Businesses Anymore
While the term “corporate social responsibility” lends itself to apply only to big business, Modi notes that it is important for all companies to understand how they can impact the planet.
As consumers grow more supportive of local and small business, he believes that there should be even more focus on how these companies can make a difference.
Large corporations have the ability to broadcast important messages and lessons in social responsibility quickly with a far reach. However, small businesses can make a strong impact in this area, as they are deeply rooted in communities.
Local consumers tend to trust small businesses and are sometimes more receptive to their messages. For this reason, it is likely that more small businesses will make an attempt to adopt practices in CSR and size them down to serve more minute communities.
- Leadership All Around
As a business leader, Prashant Modi has found that becoming an effective executive does not necessarily mean directing every aspect of the business. In fact, Modi thinks that for CSR trends to remain powerful, a greater portion of professionals will have to experience opportunities in leadership.
Modi states, “Without incite from comprehensive staff and various department leaders, it would be very hard for companies to develop strong strategies for effective corporate social responsibility.”
While executives should remain aware of how their values are perpetuated throughout a company, it is likely that there will be more opportunity for lower-level employees to gain lessons in leadership.
Whether taking on small community projects or directing efforts to reduce waste, there is an opportunity for every company employee to contribute to an overall social responsibility plan.
For 2014, there is a great possibility that more corporations will form programs and create opportunities for employees to hone their skills as leaders.
- Top Talent with Social Focus
Although Prashant Modi believes that CSR will evolve to encourage more companies to create leadership development programs, there is still the matter of attracting top talent. Specifically, companies will want to recruit those professionals who will already prove progressive leaders in the area of social responsibility.
In the coming year, recruiters may find that there is not only a high demand for attracting candidates who possess the right skills and experience, but also in finding those who align with the overall CSR strategy and brand of a company.
Jobseekers may also want to re-focus their application process and find ways to demonstrate that they are socially-involved and passionate about making a positive difference. These are qualities that will likely matter more among companies refining their CSR tactics in 2014.
- Shaping Consumers to Understand Transparency
In the past few years, Prashant Modi explains that corporate social responsibility has focused on building companies that promote sustainability—both in terms of environmental and economic health.
As a result of the need to build more sustainable financial infrastructures, companies have found that it is incredibly important to maintain transparency.
Consumers have grown to appreciate companies that carry values of transparency and honesty; however, not every consumer may know how to approach that data.
As such, Modi believes that 2014 will provide a new opportunity for companies to work to help consumers understand how to look at transparency and how to better interpret the data that is available to them.
As 2013 comes to a close, it is critical for all companies and their leaders to assess where they stand in terms of social responsibility.
Given that CSR is a value that is here to stay, Prashant Modi highly encourages all executives to revisit their approach to social responsibility and to establish a plan for greater impact in 2014.