Align Goals to Company Values & Culture - Deepstash

Align Goals to Company Values & Culture

After determining the broader material issues, an important next step in goal-setting is to discuss how to approach these issues in a way that is authentic to your company’s purpose, values, brand, and culture. Assemble a diverse, cross-functional, and global team for this exercise, and ask yourselves: How can we best use our unique strengths to make a difference?

Setting goals that reflect your company’s values will create greater employee engagement, which is an essential element of any successful corporate responsibility program.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Your CSR Strategy Needs to Be Goal Driven, Achievable, and Authentic

Your CSR Strategy

As more companies commit to adopting CSR strategies that address environmental and social issues, it’s becoming more important than ever for these strategies to be goal-driven, ambitious yet achievable, and authentic.

Outlined below are six tips for companies to develop this kind of CSR strategy: Get buy-in from executives, determine material issues, align goals to company values and culture, establish a goal framework, create a system of implementation and accountability, and deliver transparent reporting.

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  • Getting buy-in from your CEO and executives before developing a strategy will ensure it reflects your company’s highest priorities. 
  • Executive support of the strategy will communicate its importance to employees and other stakeholders. 
  • The executive support will also help facilitate a successful companywide implementation.
  • Demonstrate the business value of a goal-driven strategy by showing how it will drive positive impact and position the company competitively. 
  • Use examples to educate executives on corporate responsibility goals and how they can drive long-term value for stakeholders.

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The next step of goal-setting is to identify your material issues: the areas that matter most to stakeholders and where your company can deliver the most impact through its operations, products, and services.

Conducting a materiality assessment can define your company’s core issues and can be done either in-house or through a third party.

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Once you determine your specific goals and ensure they align with employee, customer, investor, and executive priorities, you’ll want to establish a framework that organizes and communicates the goals in a memorable, effective way. One approach is to organize goals into a broad framework around areas of impact such as People, Communities, and the Planet.

It is also a good practice to create a framework with goals that range in difficulty and level of ambition.

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  • Achieving corporate responsibility goals requires consistent effort and collaboration across an organization. 
  • Working toward a waste reduction goal may require your facilities managers to assess waste management contracts, your procurement teams to buy fewer disposable products, and your employee resource groups to organize education campaigns. 
  • To keep everyone on track, it’s helpful to create a governance system.

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When developing a communications plan to announce a corporate responsibility strategy and goals, focus on three principles: honesty, transparency, and repetition. Be honest about where your company and industry have come up short, whether that’s workforce diversity or greenhouse gas emissions levels. Be transparent about your plans to address these issues and work toward your goals.

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A Fresh Imperative To Act

Every organization faces a unique set of challenges and contexts. There are strategic moments in an organization’s journey that have a disproportionate impact on outcomes.

Getting them right creates a multiplier effect on other activities as people learn new ways of working and increase their advocacy for the program of work.

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Business leaders often are tempted to focus on strategy over culture. But the strongest companies take four key actions that deliver the best of both.

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Building ethical AI

Companies are leveraging data and artificial intelligence to create scalable solutions — but they’re also scaling their reputational, regulatory, and legal risks. For instance, Los Angeles is suing IBM for allegedly misappropriating data it collected with its ubiquitous weather app. Optum is being investigated by regulators for creating an algorithm that allegedly recommended that doctors and nurses pay more attention to white patients than to sicker black patients. Goldman Sachs is being investigated by regulators for using an AI algorithm that allegedly discriminated against women by granting larger credit limits to men than women on their Apple cards. Facebook infamously granted Cambridge Analytica, a political firm, access to the personal data of more than 50 million users.

Just a few years ago discussions of “data ethics” and “AI ethics” were reserved for nonprofit organizations and academics. Today the biggest tech companies in the world — Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more — are putting together fast-growing teams to tackle the ethical problems that arise from the widespread collection, analysis, and use of massive troves of data, particularly when that data is used to train machine learning models, aka AI.

AI and Equality
  • Designing systems that are fair for all.

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Companies are leveraging data and artificial intelligence to create scalable solutions — but they’re also scaling their reputational, regulatory, and legal risks. 

  • Los Angeles is suing IBM for allegedly misappropriating data it collected with its ubiquitous weather app.
  • Optum is being investigated by regulators for creating an algorithm that allegedly recommended that doctors and nurses pay more attention to white patients than to sicker black patients.
  • Goldman Sachs is being investigated by regulators for using an AI algorithm that allegedly discriminated against women by granting larger credit limits to men than women on their Apple cards.
  • Facebook infamously granted Cambridge Analytica, a political firm, access to the personal data of more than 50 million users.

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