In this modern age, people are aware of social issues and companies are often held accountable for unethical practices. The increasing pressure and emphasis on ethics is at an all-time high, and subsequently it’s important for your company to play its part. By ensuring your company weaves in corporate social responsibility (CSR), you are attracting customers and profits, whilst lending a helping hand. To read broadly of how CSR can benefit your company, continue here.
1. Protect the Environment
Environmental issues such as climate change are an ongoing concern through climate strikes and political discussions. However, everything makes a difference, and the little part that you play can make a huge difference. There are many ways to practice sustainability in your business, but lead by example. If your company is innovative and brainstorms a unique way of being environmentally-friendly, it may gain recognition and be reputed as an environmentally-conscious business.
Some companies even have a product focused to help conserve the environment, attracting customers internationally. Trending products are bamboo toothbrushes, beeswax food wraps, and reusable straws. However, if you are merely after daily practices to incorporate sustainability, simple changes can be made in the office. Quick solutions can be:
- Using solar-powered energy
- Encouraging employees to bring their own reusable coffee cup
- Recycling in the office.
Use visible and tangible sustainability techniques to brand your company as eco-friendly. Similarly, a sustainable business model will be visible to customers, especially if you promote this. Methods can include changing packaging or the material used to create your product/service. For example, if you operate a hair salon, consider priding yourselves by using eco-friendly, organic hair products only.
It’s also important to source your product ethically. These are common questions consumers may ponder over, and it can be the deciding factor that differentiates your company over another’s.
- Do you source prodects domestically?
- Are you out-sourcing employees?
- Are your products fair-trade?
Being eco-friendly benefits everyone, but some companies are hesitant because they associate this with higher costs. Every little thing makes a difference, and not all involve high costs, so start today!
2. Help the Community
Everyone has the power to make a change but if you own a business, your impact can be even larger. You can sponsor a charitable event, have volunteering days for employees, or even have fundraising initiatives for local charities. By giving back to the community, you are also reminded that your business was made to help others.
Volunteering as a group of coworkers can be a great way of team bonding, whilst also helping the community, and can be at a marathon or a fundraising event. Some companies even require employees to volunteer a minimum 10 days a year. Further, encouraging volunteering is a great way to engage with the community, and working at a grassroots level helps to break down the ivory tower and understand contemporary issues.
Sponsor a Local Event
Many schools or community organisations have fundraising events such as a movie or trivia night where sponsors are needed. They often look for sponsors to hire props for the event, or to donate money/items that can be given as prizes. By sponsoring a community event, you are increasing awareness of your company whilst helping a community group and charity!
Offer a Charitable Service
If your company can benefit people from a disadvantaged background, consider operating a pro-bono service, or donating your products to relevant charities. Most noteworthy examples are hair salons that offer free cuts for the homeless, and restaurants that donate leftovers to food drives.
Having charitable events within the office can also be a great way of boosting team spirit and improving workplace culture. Common examples are holding a World’s Greatest Shave amongst employees, or a canned food drive. Also, if you are considering operating a charity of your own, be sure to read the NSW Charitable Guidelines.
3. Treat Employees Right
If you want to retain employees, they need to be treated fairly. Recognising the different needs of individuals is important for equity while promoting a positive workplace. Further, with multiculturalism and diversity, it’s important to place an emphasis on providing support for these differences. Letting employees know about in-house counselling services is an excellent start.
It goes without saying that equal pay is important. However, maternal and paternal leave schemes should be offered, as well as encouraged. Employees prioritise flexibility, and it’s important to offer this to them. The Fair Work Ombudsman outlines the rights that employees have.
Employees come from different cultures, backgrounds, genders and are all unique. Therefore, it’s important to recognise these differences and offer support. Fortunately, there are many days such as Harmony Day, R U OK? Day and Reconciliation Day that raise awareness of issues. Take advantage of these days, by holding an office event or activity that brings employees together to celebrate diversity.
Not only does the office become a more safe and supportive environment, but it also enhances social awareness. A popular example is International Women’s Day, where a number of corporates have panellist discussions or host a networking breakfast. Consequently, the firm’s image becomes one that is inclusive, in that it promotes equity and diversity in the workplace.
Ultimately, if everyone plays their part, other companies may follow, and together there can be a unified movement towards helping the community. Incorporating CSR in your workplace will enhance employees attitudes as well as profits from external customers. It’s important to look at the larger picture and ensure your company is doing its part towards a better world.
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