From Enron’s theft of millions to ExxonMobil’s oil spills, the 5 o’clock news makes it seem that there are more irresponsible companies in the world than there are responsible ones. Balancing the interests of the shareholders and the interests of the employees can be a corporate tightrope. Unfortunately, some companies choose excessive profits over people.
Corporate responsibility starts, and ends, with your employees. This may sound obvious, but it runs much deeper than it sounds. It’s important to create a culture that strives for honesty and transparency. But most importantly, you must create a work environment where people love to come to work. Companies are creating a type of second family at work by fostering employee engagement within their work force.
Establishing a culture of corporate responsibility is something that cannot happen overnight, or by sending out a memo. It is a long process, but you’ll be rewarded with a loyal workforce. Many companies start by encouraging employees to become involved in the community by organizing charity efforts. Employees can use their time or money, or both, to help improve the community. And, they are allowed to use company resources to get a community initiative program off the ground. Showing corporate social responsibility instills a good reputation for the company into the workforce, and employees will think twice about doing anything that could cause a pillar in the community to crumble.
Corporate wellness programs are also a trend, and they play a large role in employee engagement. Wellness programs typically entail free checkups, health newsletters, on-site exercise programs, and many other combinations. Employees dedicate enormous parts of their lives to the company, and due to prolonged sitting and fast food lunches, many employees can develop health issues. Issues such as obesity can lead to rising costs for companies that offer health coverage. Sicknesses also mean employees cannot come into work, decreasing productivity. Taking the initiative to get your employees back on a healthy track shows that you care on a personal level.
Corporate responsibility has changed tremendously over the years. We’re only a couple of decades removed from pumping factory waste into rivers. There are of course companies finding new ways to skirt laws, but from Tyco to WorldCom, they all inevitably crumble. Take a stand for your company by ensuring your employees have ample reasons to keep the company’s image squeaky clean. At NBRI, we recommend deploying an employee engagement survey to take the current pulse on your workforce and find out how to move forward. Then, resurvey periodically to gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives and reevaluate the internal image of your company. Contact us today to ensure you stay on the front page for all the right reasons.