Inspiring Social Impact: How To Get Buy-In From Senior Leaders

If you’ve ever tried to convince a senior leader that social impact isn’t just a fancy buzzword but the real (and very important!) deal, you know it can sometimes feel a bit frustrating. 

In a world where sustainability, equity, and doing good are no longer optional but an absolute must, bringing senior leaders on board with your social impact initiatives is key. We recognise this at Student Beans – in fact, in January 2022 we launched our social impact initiative, which you can read all about here.

In our recent webinar, From Purpose to Profit: How to Leverage Social Impact for a Thriving Ecommerce Strategy, we spoke about the importance of social impact when it comes to driving growth. We heard from experts Dr Shani Dhanda (a Disability Inclusion and Accessibility Specialist), Paul Ellingstad (Managing Partner at PRI Advisors) and Breige Grogan (Founder of Little Rock Digital).

In this blog, we share some key insights…

Getting buy-in from senior leaders can be difficult

Social impact isn’t just about face-saving; it should be done to deliver impactful change. However, sometimes it isn’t easy to show senior leaders the value of a social impact strategy. Present solid data and tangible benefits; you might see your senior leaders nodding in agreement sooner than you think. 

As noted by Paul, “brands have a critical responsibility to represent their audience – there’s a leadership role for them to play.”

Change doesn’t always have to come from the top

Social impact initiatives can provide a powerful way to break down silos in an organisation – as Shani touched on in the webinar, “social impact helps you to humanise your brand”. Host inter-departmental workshops, promote open communication, and let ideas flow freely; and remember, these suggestions don’t always have to come from C-suite figures.

Breige notes change can come from anyone – you just need one brave person to “take the bull by the horns”. 

Social impact helps you to empower and energise your team

Happy teams are productive teams. And, when you feel like you’re making a positive difference, you’re far likely to feel both happy and productive. Briege shared during the webinar that one of the biggest benefits of a social impact initiative is “how amazing it feels to be a part of”.

Balancing people, planet and profit

Striking a balance here can be difficult. Breige noted that one of the first challenges that arises for large scale businesses is sustainability – it’s very difficult to be an always-on eCommerce brand and “also be authentic about your sustainability credentials.” The best way to absolve this is creating a framework that is transparent: Gen Z are aware that it’s not always possible to be fully green, but they can appreciate any brand who are at least trying in this space.

Social impact helps you demonstrate tangible value to your leadership teams

The world is changing – and we’ve got to change with it! Social impact initiatives can help lead to increased brand awareness, loyalty and innovation. Brands looking to reach young consumers should be aware of this: as Shani notes, “Gen Z are more likely to use their voices and have a conscience – and brands should be listening to this” 

You can catch up with the full webinar on-demand here. 

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