As a bookkeeper and business mentoring service, we are directly in contact with over 60 businesses from a range of industries. Over the years we have found that many business owners share common successes, struggles and challenges.
One common challenge is gaining and maintaining the trust and buy-in of a team. Without best practice protocols and clear transparent communication, business owners can often feel there is a division or a lack of motivation among team members.
One way to overcome this issue is to increase the focus on social responsibility in the business.
What is Social Responsibility in Business?
Social responsibility is an ethical framework that businesses should enact for the benefit of society at large and not just their own interests.
These duties go beyond the task of making a profit and include contributions to their communities, the environment and their employees.
How Does Social Responsibility Work Inside a Business?
Social responsibility inside a business has more to do with the care and attention that is given to the team.
While the primary role of employees is to focus on delivering a specific product or service to make the business profitable, there is also a need for the team to feel appreciated.
Many business owners can get so caught up in running the business and the tasks at hand that they end up overlooking the human needs of their employees.
Social responsibility calls for leaders to act morally and responsibly, promote the greater good, and be a strong voice in their teams, organisations and communities.
Social Responsibility Requires Empathy
Empathy is recognising, understanding and appreciating how other people think and feel. As individuals, we all experience life in a unique way and the key to good relations, team cohesion and leadership is taking the time and making the effort to understand each other.
Practicing empathy involves being able to articulate your understanding of another’s perspective and behaving in a way that respects others’ feelings.
The best leaders in any business are the ones who:
- Are socially conscious and are concerned with their team’s well-being
- Identify with and see themselves as the champion for their team, taking responsibility, and providing resources for growth
- Gain a sense of fulfillment from supporting their team and organisation
How to Be More Socially Responsible in Your Business
Being a successful leader means consistently helping team members improve and guiding them to reach new heights, which increases your overall team potential and performance.
A great way to start is to make a list of every team member, and consider the support that you currently provide for each of them.
Next, think how you can further help develop each person on your team. Consider their individual talents and needs and how they can benefit from being with you. Is this in line with a current job description and support that has been mutually discussed and agreed on? This perspective moves you from simply being a manager of tasks into thinking as a leader.
Even if your leadership activities take some time and resources away from immediate business activities, the net result will be a more motivated and satisfied team, improved trust, collaboration and efficiency.
Building A Culture of Cooperation
A team that works in collaboration will always perform at a higher level. As a leader, it is your responsibility to promote cooperation within your team.
In team meetings, it is important to encourage social responsibility by helping team members understand each others’ needs. By fostering an environment of empathy and information sharing you will see dramatic improvements in their morale and performance as well as overall improvements in client-customer communication.
Finally, you can look for ways to incorporate community support activities into your team. This might include working with a charitable organisation for your next team-building event, or finding ways to serve the local community through your business.
Investing In Your Team
View your employees as individuals as well as valued team members. Take the time to meet informally for a coffee and chat out of the office. Acknowledge their personal needs and struggles, both inside and outside the business.
Think of social responsibility as investing in the goodwill of your team. Not only will this make your business more profitable, but also much more rewarding over the long-term for all the stakeholders.
Centegrity has over 13 years of experience helping businesses with bookkeeping and business mentoring. If you need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us or fill in the form below.