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As a business, how best to be socially responsible?

By Heather McKinlay

Especially given the current climate, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your business activities are socially conscious and reflect an awareness of corporate social responsibilities. Your approach should not only be clear and transparent, but also mirror the way in which you wish your business to be portrayed and perceived.

Corporate responsibility can generally be separated into four categories: environmental sustainability initiatives, direct philanthropic giving, ethical business practices, and economic responsibility. This may include things like employee volunteering, as well as core strategies within a company. A socially responsible company will strive to remain ethical, putting morals ahead of profits.

Companies wishing to demonstrate their corporate responsibility should value employee safety, collaborate with not-for-profit organisations, and make sustainable investments. They should integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.

An example of this would be a socially responsible company committed to supporting new parents’ rights and to providing more than the statutory amount of paid leave. This would include both primary and secondary caregivers and adoptive parents, giving a clear message that their work is valued and appreciated.

Incorporating a strong set of company values into all policies and processes from day one will ensure that these values are upheld and reflected in all business activities moving forward into the future.

Encouraging your employees to become involved and try out some volunteering can be a great way to boost teamwork and morale, please see below our top reasons to volunteer:

6 great reasons to get involved in volunteering this winter!

  • Giving back – it gives a real feeling of satisfaction knowing you’ve contributed, even in some small way to making the world a better place.

  • Boosting confidence – volunteering can push you outside your comfort zone, giving a new perspective on life and improve self-esteem.

  • Meeting new people - volunteering with others can forge new relationships and friendships, as well developing your interpersonal skills.

  • Gaining valuable skills – you’ll work in a team, have tasks to complete and a role to fulfil. This is a real opportunity to learn something new.

  • Boosting your CV - volunteering can really help you stand out when applying for roles, it shows motivation and the ability to work with anyone.

  • Helping a charity – more volunteers often means charities are able to use funds more directly, so you are enabling them to work more effectively.

About Heather McKinlay

Heather works as an HR Business Associate at Second Chapter where she supports mainly with recruitment, general HR administration and also social media postings. She has had a varied career so far spanning across retail, hospitality, marketing and communications, but always with people at the heart of it. Heather lives in Sheffield with her husband, daughter and rescue cat George.

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