Jul 01, 2020
Jul 01, 2020
Throughout your professional career, you’ve probably heard, “Keep emotions out of business,” or “This isn’t personal.” Before, this was doable. Companies separated emotions from day-to-day operations without a hitch. However, 2020 drew a definitive line in the sand.
In just a few months, the life we were comfortably living before became obsolete. In this short span of time, we’ve witnessed a global pandemic, civil unrest and a number of other issues that affect how our society thinks.
Although negative at first glance, these events are an opportunity to become more empathetic to the fact that there are real issues happening in the everyday lives of the people who make up a company. The line between professional and personal continues to blur, especially as COVID-19 forces Americans to mix their work and home lives.
As we strive to humanize business, moral responsibility –meaning each person in the company is accountable for doing what is right– becomes increasingly important. Whether your company chooses to combat systemic racism, take a stand against social injustices like LGBTQ+ discrimination, or support a cause like environmentalism, your employees and consumers are demanding action behind your brand pillars, longer than the lifespan of an Instagram post.
Here are a few ways to eclipse #CancelCulture and to be a better business overall.
Company culture and values often dictate the importance of moral responsibilities in the organization. Through your actions, your company sets the tone for moral expectations by making clear where the company stands on a variety of issues. Find what aligns with your company and employees. Then ask, how can we take a stand and how do we use our company influence to create a platform?
Look around you. Is your company made up of the people or mission that you are trying to support? If not, this is an opportunity to make a difference. Take actionable steps to increase your diversity levels.
Viral campaigns like #PullUpOrShutUp asks that companies who posted statements about solidarity against racism either show their executive teams or diversity statistics and how they plan to make a change. If the companies do not oblige or do not meet a benchmark, the campaign asks that the company completely delete their statement altogether. So far, there have been responses from major beauty brands and tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook and Uber.
In addition to looking around you, ask your managers to have tough conversations and take the time to reach out to the people within your organization to offer allyship, support or action. Your words of encouragement or lack thereof will make all the difference. A little goes a long way, even if you’re letting those who work for you know that they are appreciated and that you are there when they need you.
Personify your mission through hosted events. Events and fundraising have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. When planning, find a charity that meshes well with your mission and vision statements. This way, it is possible to have an impact on both a worthy cause and achieve a business objective.
For instance, Hotel Revival uses its name to live up to a mission of revitalization in Mount Vernon, Baltimore. When COVID-19 began to take a grip of the area, Hotel Revival sprang into action by providing rooms and bagged lunches to the community. Even before, the hotel was known for hosting happy hours and brunches that supported local vendors related to their mission of increasing literacy, art and more.
Even when the smoke clears, continue using your cause as an extension of your company and brand. Don’t forget about it. Instead, amplify it and continue to advocate monetarily and physically. Integrate your cause into the fabric of your everyday operations and you’ll find that you will attract people who think like your brand. For instance, Eaton Workshop, whose entire being stems from progressive social change, works hand-in-hand with brand advocates across the globe.
At GKA, our clients' brand values, pillars, mission and vision are at the forefront of our work. It's the first question we ask when we're getting intimate with a brand's voice and personality. The more that a brand is flushed out, the more that it can come through in design and messaging, to inspire and attract your consumers. If your company needs a little direction on how to develop a clear and actionable mission, we’ll be on standby!