Building a Better Future: 4 Strategies for Corporate Social Responsibility in the Workplace
By embracing corporate social responsibility, you can build a better future for your business and your employees. Let's start with simple changes.
A corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy is only as effective as the employees who are responsible for executing it. This means that you need to build a workplace culture that values lean quality and social responsibility equally.
As a business leader, you can build a better future by embracing motivational strategies that help employees embody your corporate social responsibility program. Even small changes, like recycling within the office, can make a big difference to your workplace culture.
Implementing the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to ensure that all workers have equal access to the tools they need to be successful. As a business leader, you can take proactive steps to make your workplace more accessible like:
- Instal ramps and handrails
- Buy visual fire alarms
- Implement automatic doors
- Ensure signage is accessible to all
Go above and beyond your ADA responsibilities by giving staff access to accessibility tech like screen readers, magnifying tools, closed caption or sign language translation and large print materials. This will show that you’re serious about inclusivity and will build a better corporate culture in your workplace.
As a business leader, you’re also responsible for ensuring that consumers and clients can navigate your workspace. Current ADA guidance asks all businesses to make “reasonable accommodations” to help companies better serve folks with disabilities. Start simple by removing physical barriers to exit and entry. Over time, you may need to make more thorough adjustments, like sign language interpreters. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, consider speaking to your clients to find out what they want from your business.
As a business leader, you can help combat climate change by building a carbon-neutral company. This may take time, as businesses use a lot of energy, but the motivational boost will be well worth the effort. Start with simple steps like:
- Reduce emissions by hosting virtual conferences instead of physical ones
- Rethink your supply chain and opt for low-impact vendors
- Instal solar panels and switch to renewable energy sources
- Offset any carbon that can’t be mitigated via reduction schemes
These changes may incur some short-term costs. However, climate-conscious staff want to work for businesses that take their commitment to climate change seriously. This means you’ll recoup your expenditures due to lower turnover and increased day-to-day productivity.
READ: Becoming a Zero-Emissions State — How Alternative Fuels Are Transforming Transportation in Colorado
An ethical leadership model foregrounds the importance of your business’s values and champions the dignity of others. To become an ethical leader, you’ll need to audit your current policy and procedures to ensure that all of your corporate social responsibility values are aligned.
Promote ethical leadership in your company by opening lines of communication. This will help you pick up on missteps and help you better understand the challenges that your staff face. Beware of bias when becoming an ethical leader — it’s easy to believe you’re doing a great job when, in fact, folks are scared to tell you the truth.
Identify biases by offering anonymous reviews. Once you’ve gathered some data, use the reviews to make policy-level changes to your firm.
Your employees are the backbone of your business. Without highly engaged, motivated staff, your company will fail. As a modern employer, you should do everything in your power to ensure that your people feel empowered at work and proud to say they work for your business.
Start by overhauling your benefits and policies to include everyone. For example, if you’re about to run a new recruitment drive, review your job advertisements to assess the materials’ inclusivity. You need to recruit a diverse cast of employees if you want staff to feel empowered at work, but may accidentally alienate some applicants with gendered or restrictive language.
Find unique ways to reward employees who champion your values at work. Put aside a budget for these boons, and give your star employees a chance to decide how they’d like to be rewarded. This ensures that your staff feels valued and can make full use of your empowerment program.
The bottom line
Corporate social responsibility is key to the long-term success of lean workplaces. By embracing CSR, you can build a better future for your business and your employees. Embrace simple changes at first — like using more inclusive language — and build on these by reviewing your CSR performance every quarter.
Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.