At this point in time, it should be no surprise to you how connected we are as a society. The worldwide web has opened new communication channels, information resources, and social networks galore. The internet alone has initiated thousands of new technologies, applications and global businesses. It has provided millions of jobs to people who work in every field, from the idea mavens to the retailers to the coders.
In lieu of all of the endless possibilities the age of the internet has created, there has also been a rise in loneliness, something much more important than we think, especially if we’re in the business of business.
What does loneliness have to do with corporate social responsibility?
Given the recent increase in neurological studies, like the science of happiness and positive psychology as examples, the effects that loneliness has on an individual are vast. Humans are not built to succeed alone, and this relates one hundred percent to your workplace.
By creating a safe hub for your humans, or employees, to blossom, you have the opportunity to offer one of the most crucial factors a human needs to live a long and satisfying life. Beyond the day to day work tasks, you can provide a space for a new kind of family which can change the way your business works in the most revolutionary of ways.
Having studied loneliness for the past 20 years, John Cacioppo hosted a study of over 3 million people, feeling lonely “increased odds of an early death by 26%.” It’s not just people who are alone who feel lonely. Cacioppo also discovered that “mutuality is important. It’s not just about receiving aid. We’ve evolved to want and seek reciprocity.”
Now imagine that reciprocated relationship between you and your employees. By valuing them, they value you. By offering them a platform for purpose, you provide a foundation of values for employees to stand on.
You also provide a platform for networking and sharing experiences with like-minded people. Take an example like WeWork, the co-working space taking the world by storm, and one of our partner companies who participates in Good Deeds Day all around the world.
WeWork is built on community. The premise of their business plan is to create a network of businesses, and in turn opportunities for people to collaborate, thrive, and live sustainably. The Greater Good Science Center has studied the science of happiness for over 10 years, and has found that having a sense of belonging within a community is one of the most crucial factors for an individual to feel happy.
By creating an opportunity for community in your workplace, instead of just a day job, you are cultivating the individual work life balance and providing the sense of belonging that an individual needs for living a purposeful life. We’ve already talked about ways to build that community and team in the first part of our series and know that it’s a win-win-win for your business, your team and your community.
Companies like WeWork not only provide the office basics but also enhance members’ life everyday by offering various opportunities to connect with others. Creating experiences, like volunteer days or happy hours, fosters that sense of community and shared purpose in a workplace, even if those members don’t commonly work together.
Instilling a sense of community into your business not only breeds a way to connect management to employees, but also opens paths for employees to better connect with customers. A study run by the Better Business Journey has found that 88% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society. This means customers also feel the effect of a company’s purpose. With CSR, employees tend to connect better with customers, who become a more loyal audience, and an overall enhancement in customer engagement has been seen.
Though five years ago CSR helped brands differentiate themselves in a positive manner, in another 5 years the companies without CSR will stand out, or be cast out completely. CSR is becoming the norm as we type. If you want to get in on the good stuff, now is the time to make it happen.
If you want long term business success, you need to start thinking long term. It’s clear that the importance of corporate social responsibility is high, so if you have not yet infused your company with the CSR mindset, now is the time. There is no denying that the overall social impact is an advantage to your business.
If you’re not Google, Zappos or WeWork, what are ways you can implement corporate social responsibility into your work plan? Here are 4 ways you can start today.
- Think about the why behind the business and the aligned values behind it.
- Connect the values with your business products and processes.
- Create an opportunity for your team to get involved, share ideas and feedback.
- Sign up for Good Deeds Day and take part on April 2, 2017.
Though it may be a new concept to your company, you will see a shift in both the attitudes of your employees, your management team, your customers, and your profits. Secure yourself, your business and your team now. And then thank your corporately responsible self in ten years time, after saving money, jobs, people, community, and the world.
To learn more about the benefits of corporate social responsibility, check out the start of our CSR series and then follow us on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in participating in Good Deeds Day 2017 or other ideas to help your company flourish, download our Company Kit, read our How To’s or get in touch with us for guides and resources.