Today’s organizations have great influence in making improvements in the quality of life and the sustainability of the planet, not just by-products, but by how they conduct business, control resources, live their morality, and value their employees as people. For many years, the corporate mission was profit; pressure from the market, stockholders,s or ownersfocuseds exclusively on the bottom line.
However, in today’s highly connected world, no organization survives with an isolationist perspective. Today, every organization is visibly connected to its world through its employees, policies, attitudes, and approach. Every organization is subjected to public review and scrutiny by national media and blogs, chat rooms s, and correspondence in social networks Unique Press.
Much of this change has to do with a new type of employee. As manufacturing moved off shore, we saw a shift to an intellectual or service economy and a thinking employee. This economy has the employee as the visible face of organization to the customer; employees are no longer hidden behind machine, making products.
Our products are our service and this service is great or poor depending on the employee’s performance (engagement, attitude, and passion. Their thinking, attitude, and focus on performance are affected by the constant stream of news and information they see and hear in our information blur age.
Today’s news thrives on sensationalizing event – it sells. News of Darfur, HIV, Iraq, terrorism, famines, and other social catastrophes emotionally affect our employees. They bring these issues and their feelings about these issues to the workplace and demand that their organizations respond; this has forced a renewed social conscience on all organizations.
What is your social response? How do you use your influence to make a world of difference?
Look at your organization. What are the particular needs of your employees? How well do you know them, and are there things that the organization could provide to help the quality of life of your employees? Assess your benefit plan for the particular needs of your employees. Work with benefit providers to offer greater personalized or customized benefits.
In times of personal catastrophe (storms, floods, recession), organize a response to ensure all of your employees are secure, safe, and well. Be available to discuss national challenges and events. Share information to keep people safe. Charging employees to conduct an organizational review, assessment, and response plan fires them up to make a difference.
Look at your community. Assess your business strengths, then review the needs of your community. Organizations are not responsible for curing all of the ills in the community but as you identify those that are in line with your business, you can create a powerful impact. For instance, if you distribute water as a business, give 5 cases to each employee to deliver to the elderly or the homeless in a heat spell.
If you run a sporting goods retail store, donate last year’s t-shirt stock to families in need or to a youth sports league. Assessing community needs and matching them to business purposes creates many opportunities to make a difference in areas that are already well developed. Additionally, a review from a new angle frequently can create a sound financial and societal response. Charging employees to conduct a community review, assessment, and response plan fires them up to make a difference.
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Look at the environment. Does your business process have a positive effect on the environment? Are all aspects of running your business as efficient as they can be? Each of us alone cannot control global warming or other environmental issues, but we can create great collective awareness to make a difference. Start with a full environmental review of your facility, store, or operations.
Wherever possible, are you using the most efficient and planet-friendly lighting, paper, water, heating and cooling? Many times minor changes to existing fixtures, layout, or hours can significantly reduce energy consumption. Not only does it show environmental responsibility, it reduces expenses in today’s recessionary times. Charging employees to conduct an environment review, assessment and response plan fires them up to make a difference.