Company Q is challenged by a range of unaddressed social responsibilities impacting its ability to prosper in select markets. This article will evaluate a few of its individual challenges and the impact to the company’s local brand. Finally, recommendations to support Company Q’s future success will be discussed as Company Q can continue to expand if it takes a dedicated and serious approach to its social responsibilities and brand expectations.
In order to evaluate the company’s attitude toward social and ethical responsibility, it is important to cover recent facts which paint the foreground of the argument for Company Q’s improvement. The company has recently closed stores in higher than usual crime-rate areas. The company has not responded adequately to consumer demand for health-conscience and organic foods opting instead to provide only a limited selection at a high margin. In addition, the company declined to contribute to a local food bank citing concerns about employee trust and revenue impact.
The closure of two stores in areas where higher crime is reported can indicate a few missed opportunities. It is important to highlight that while the company has not specifically stated that the reason for the closures is due to monetary loss, it has been asserted. Revenue loss specific to crime implies theft or other attacks on the profitable operation of the business in the area. Theft and crime can impact the profitable operation of the stores in this select area, however; it is far more likely that the higher crime is only marginally impacting the already challenged grocery chain. Based on the facts laid out above indicating neglect of the chain’s local brand and image, it is more plausible that the company is targeted as a detractor rather than contributor to the community.
All businesses must respond to market demands. In this case, history is telling Company Q that its customers demand a variety of lower cost, health-conscience selections and have done so for years.
The grocery chain’s begrudging approach to filling this demand has caused its customers to seek their needs elsewhere significantly impacting the revenues of the stores in this chain. The seeming unwillingness to adapt to the shifting marketplace will quickly develop into a sense of animosity between consumer and retailer. Emotional connections to a brand are extremely important, and
Company Q’s lack of attentiveness in this area adds to the cause for the downturn in the company’s repurchase rate.
The company’s decision to avoid donations of day-old product to needy organizations is said to be based primarily on its mistrust of employees. While there may be grounds for this not provided in the facts given, it is no less important for Company Q’s management team to get involved immediately.
Far more than appropriate donations are at stake if there is truly cause to mistrust the employees.
Some assumptions must be made which include a lack of, or ineffective, code of conduct policy which sets a benchmark for employee expectations. Additionally, the mistrust of the employees by
management is undoubtedly reflected in more than just this one decision which will create a culture that is counterproductive across all areas of the business operations.
Company Q is not without hope, however. By implementing recommendations such as those shortly to follow, each of the company’s major missteps can be addressed. Beginning in reverse order, from recommendations which provide the most wide-spread benefit to the least, the issue of the company’s culture is of greatest importance.
Based on the facts provided, Company Q should establish an efficiently sized committee charged with gathering information about the company’s culture and acting on it to create a cultural “shift” where employee engagement is valued equally with the revenue results. An integral part of employee engagement includes trust of the individual which coincides with accountability. The