Being socially conscious is often perceived as a responsibility rather than a tag. Self-awareness is the key. You need to know how your actions impact people around you and what better can you do to help your community progress.
New-age entrepreneurs are all about exploring new things and taking risks. They like to walk a step towards defining business standards that talk about value, respect, and integrity. Even the smallest of changes like making your blue-collar workers follow safety standards at work can make a huge difference. Helping them train on HRMS is a different thing than building a sense of security at the workplace.
We often attach the term “socially conscious” to CSR. Well, it’s a part of it, but you need to think beyond the obvious and find ways to help your people grow. That said, businesses often fail during the execution process due to various reasons. They may not be clear about aligning their business model with the CSR activity at hand or lack authenticity. Or they set unrealistic goals. Clarity precedes mastery.
Axis Bank has introduced new policies for the LGBTQIA+ community, including employees and customers. Employees can list their partners for availing of mediclaim benefits, regardless of sex, gender, or marital status. They can also choose to dress based on their gender expression. Besides, employees are free to choose to use the restroom based on their gender identity or expression.
We can laud the efforts of its management team to promote equality in the workplace. Retaining talent is often a task; they have initiated a step to winning the trust of both employees and customers. It’s called setting an example.
Let’s understand how a business can create a socially conscious culture that benefits everyone involved.
Establish a social responsibility plan
If you’re taking the first step towards creating a socially responsible culture at the workplace, it starts with having a clear vision. Set attainable goals and measure them.
For example, if your company offers hygiene-related products, you can initiate a CSR activity to spread awareness about the importance of hygiene among the rural community. Besides, you can distribute samples to position yourself as a thinker. This way, you’re able to align your business model with your CSR initiatives and understand its impact.
You can include a lot in your plan. It need not be limited to taking eco-friendly initiatives like planting trees on a Sunday. That’s common. How about creating digital campaigns to spread awareness about child labor, or how can we educate children who can’t afford education.
By doing so, you can attract the right set of people who are willing to support you wholeheartedly. Besides, it shows that you believe in promoting integrity at the workplace by helping each other solve problems, similar to how one uses human resources software to address grievances.
Involve your team
How do you create a vision or mission statement? How do you ensure that your business plan yields positive results? When it’s about making a difference through your actions, who is better than your employees, coming from all walks of life, to provide you a clear picture about what needs to change.
As HR needs to be proficient in using HR and payroll management software, you should shoulder the responsibility of bringing a desired change into the system. Listen to them and share your part. Indulge in a dialogue where everyone talks about working towards a common goal – creating an impact. Remember, it’s always teamwork that yields results.
Educating your team on CSR is one thing but involving it to bring a change is different. In the age of thought leadership, people are your assets and the driving force. How about sending your social media team to an NGO to conduct a session on how to earn money through social media. These could be students pursuing graduation and need direction. Through this gesture, you’re helping the community progress and becoming independent.
Introduce safety practices at work
Earlier, we talked about how the littlest efforts can bring the desired change. If you run a manufacturing setup, you should prioritize your workers’ health. Working with machines can be difficult and dangerous, especially when you don’t have proper knowledge about them.
You can conduct training sessions for the workers. It should include both classroom and physical demo sessions. As a passionate business leader, you should understand the health risks a worker may face while working in a manufacturing setup. Think about how you can reduce the risks.
You can introduce policies and programs that help them value your efforts, like offering fair compensation and building a safe-to-work environment. When you care for your employees, they care for your customers.
Talk about different environmental issues
When it’s about building sustainable business culture, you need to think beyond classroom presentations on topics like water conservation and planting a tree. We insist you take action and lead by example.
How about participating in recycling programs? You can advise your employees to work in a paperless environment, if possible. Switch to eco-friendly lighting. If you merely talk about reducing carbon footprint, it will have less impact on the participants. However, if you make them realize that you’ve started doing your bit to make the workplace sustainable, it can create a lasting impression.
Introduce charity rewards
Volunteering for a good deed is always satisfying. When you help an underprivileged individual, you feel happy. How about bringing that idea to your workplace? Offer charity rewards for your employees to promote a culture that believes in giving rather than receiving. This way, you can encourage people to do more charity.
When everyone joins hands to appeal for a cause, things start to change. A corporate setup is no exception to that. We are not talking about internal teams, but the industry, as a whole, can join hands and take great CSR initiatives. When you do so, you promote a socially conscious culture at the workplace. Others may follow suit. Remember, charity begins at home.
Initiating a dialogue
We have already spoken a great deal about having thoughtful CSR initiatives in place. Organizations can take the liberty of thinking beyond set processes and introduce policies that help them gain the trust of both employees and customers. Talk about it and find ways to turn a plan into action.
Every business must take thoughtful initiatives that drive growth and add value to the lives of its people. HRs can think beyond using HR software as a medium to promote engagement: they can build a more personal approach to work and how every employee plays a role in defining a socially conscious workplace culture.
From supporting LGBTQ colleagues and helping underprivileged students build work skills to reducing paperwork in offices, every effort counts.