The greatest asset of a company is its people, and making a positive social impact as a business owner starts from within.
People are at the heart of every business. Having happy, healthy and fulfilled employees is fundamental to a business’ productivity and success. If you are looking to make a positive impact, then ultimately you should start by creating a positive workplace culture where employees feel empowered to make a difference.
Equality and diversity, health and wellbeing and community support are all vital elements of a positive workplace culture.
In this blog, we will cover five areas you can focus on to help make a positive social impact as a business owner.
A good place to start is by offering paid volunteering days for your employees. These can provide opportunities for the people in your business to give back and get involved within their local communities. Statistics from a national survey on the volunteering experience showed that 77% of volunteers felt positive improvements in mental health and wellbeing after volunteering, and this was the same for those who volunteered through employment.*
Working to enrich the area you serve and operate in can be a great way to make a positive social impact. For example, the HR Consultancy & Advice team at Progeny have dedicated their volunteering day to Zarach, a local charity that delivers beds and basics to children living in poverty.
Charity partnerships can elevate your positive impact and are a meaningful way to bring your company culture and ethics to life.
Some organisations create charitable foundations, allowing employees to get involved in a more structured manner. It also means that your business can be more transparent on the actions it is taking and the impact it makes, as well as providing tax efficiencies.
The option of Payroll Giving is also a tax efficient way for employees to donate to their preferred charities via their wage. As an employer, you can set this up and run the scheme yourself via a Payroll Giving Agency. Deductions are then made after National Insurance but before any tax on your employees’ pay.
If you want to make a positive social impact with your business, making a positive social impact within your business is key. You can start by creating a robust wellbeing strategy.
According to Mind, 60% of workers said they would feel more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing.**
A good wellbeing strategy might include a schedule of educational sessions and events around health and wellbeing topics, taking into account that wellbeing is not just mental but also physical, social and financial. Outsourcing to specialists to present on relevant topics, especially to your leadership teams, can raise awareness and make a real difference.
Approaches to wellbeing should also never be static, as it is always a journey that encompasses the latest rules and regulation, current events and challenges and cultural shifts, so ensure that your approach is relevant and fit for purpose.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Accepting and supporting people’s differences means not excluding anyone because of their beliefs, capability, preferences, backgrounds, values, and their overall sense of who they are.
Inclusion is an extension of equality and diversity. Practicing and enforcing this means without exception, all team members in your business have the right to be involved, respected, and valued as employees.
There are many organisations that offer equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) coaching to help you effectively engage with and progress the diversity and inclusion of your business. They can help you to identify the areas where your business needs improving and provide you with the right training for you and your employees.
Fostering equality, diversity and inclusion in your business is paramount when making a positive social impact. Embracing diversity in the workplace is part of an organisation’s corporate social responsibility and also plays an important role in the productivity and retention of your workforce.
Social impact certifications
There are several organisations that can help review and improve your level of corporate social impact, providing accreditation after assessment to demonstrate your business is making a required level of impact.
Some examples are as follows:
In addition to environmental responsibility, this accreditation focusses on people, employees and responsible business practices, such as fair hours and contracts. To be a GBC business you must ensure employees are paid a real living wage, that your business monitors its EDI data and has transparent policies supporting wellbeing.
Open to organisations around the world, this accreditation provides a structure to help organisations plan and act responsibly. It establishes an annual process to monitor and report social responsibility activities and enables businesses to demonstrate both financial and social value.
B Corp is a global community of businesses that demonstrate high standards of social and environmental impact. Via B Corp accreditation, companies are expected to demonstrate best practice in areas such as inclusive recruitment strategies, employee compensation and benefits, social engagement and charitable giving, with a requirement to improve on social and environmental performance to remain accredited.
Making your positive social impact
Creating a positive social impact as a business starts from within and focusing on these key areas is a great way to start making a difference.
It is also important to develop a robust HR policy to support your business values, so you can actively promote diversity and provide a healthy environment for your employees.
If you would like to discuss the ways in which you can make a positive difference to your business, please get in touch with our team of HR professionals.