Social Sustainability: Your Organization's Impact On Its Employees and Community
Many organizations promote areas such as health, diversity, and fair labor practices but fail to remember a vital area - social sustainability. Social sustainability is a proactive way to manage and identify operational impacts on employees, clients, and communities. As an organization creates and adjusts its business strategy, it is important to consider the impacts of operations on people and society.
Who exactly does social sustainability impact? You, your organization, your employees, your clients, your stakeholders and any other individuals that make your organization operate successfully. All individuals have unique skills that contribute to an organization. Acknowledging this and implementing these skill sets promotes ingenuity, innovation, and inclusion, setting an organization apart from others.
What aspects of an organization impact and have a role in social sustainability?
The list continues but, in a nutshell, a socially sustainable organization focuses on the overall safety and well-being of employees, clients, and communities.
A culture of well-being motivates employees to work safely and efficiently by promoting open communication and encouraging collaboration across all areas of the organization. Employees are more likely to stay with an organization long term if they feel valued and appreciated. The pride in the work and results they produce will exceed expectations and add value to the organization.
Providing a safe workplace is another important component of social sustainability. Maintaining safe working locations and ensuring continued safety is essential for the success of an organization. It is important that employees are encouraged to speak up and report any concerns without fear of being reprimanded for doing so.
Organizations must also value their clients and adjust strategies and goals to facilitate industry needs. An organization should grow and foster along with its clients. Ensuring their products remain reliable and affordable to cover various groups of clients is important to not only retain current clients but to acquire new ones. Retaining clients is essential to the future of an organization and it is vital to know your clients and really listen to their needs.
An organizations involvement in communities is also vital. Providing educational opportunities for local schools and being a part of local events not only creates visibility for an organization, but has an impact on the overall well-being of a community. There are many organizations that have taken part in community projects and activities that provide support, safety, and well-being to communities across the globe. A short overview can be found here that documents a few of these projects and activities.
So, what can your organization do to promote social sustainability?