One of the biggest challenges facing businesses of all shapes and sizes at the moment is recruitment and retention of staff. With employees able to demand higher salaries and packages more companies are offering higher salaries on one hand, but are struggling to add additional value to their potential employees on the other. Unless a company is able to command high levels of loyalty staff are more likely to move making it difficult for the business to maintain its service levels in the medium to long term.
Over the past six years I have been fortunate to be involved in CSR-A, a global accreditation scheme that provides organisations with the accolade they deserve for their work in social responsibility. Over the past few years this has been defined more often than not as “ESG”, Environment, Social and Governance. However, much work is still to be done to develop and implement a consistent framework that all organisations can adopt to allow any third party to easily assess how progressive a business is in being genuinely socially responsible. CSR-A are currently working as part of the government’s “All Party Parliamentary Group in ESG” to develop a UK framework, so watch this space.
Going back to the challenge of staff recruitment and retention, one aspect that is becoming ever more important for employees is the workplace environment. Employees increasingly want to work for organisations that are taking care of their staff as well as the wider community. One key area where this has to be addressed is the environmental impact. Gen Z employees are now making decisions on how environmentally friendly a business is, be that as an employer or as a supplier and there are many easy ways a business can work to reduce their carbon footprint. For more information on how to achieve have a look at the Auditel Carbon Solutions Information.
However, whilst the environment is quite rightly receiving a high degree of focus at the moment, it is also important for organisations to consider their own environment, what is it like to work in the office, or from home? How much support staff are given to grow and develop, as well as where they need health and wellbeing support. There is also a considerable amount of research to show that staff also want to be able to help in the community, to give back and being able to undertake this work during the year creates a genuine “feel-good” factor and will help improve overall productivity in the workplace.
Most importantly by putting this structure in place your organisation will achieve a number of positive outcomes:
- Firstly, word of mouth will spread that you are a “good” business, raising your profile and increasing your brand presence
- Secondly, potential employees will be more likely to want to work for you, even if you are not paying the highest salary in the sector
- Thirdly, your existing staff will be less likely to leave and will remain loyal
In the current economic climate every organisation, be they a charity, enterprise business or SME is looking at how to become more efficient, maintain customers and staff and keep their costs under control. Having a clear social responsibility or ESG strategy can help achieve all this but like every key element of a business, it takes a bit of time to plan and implement.
To find out how we can help you develop your ESG strategy and in doing so raise your brand profile and make it easier to recruit contact me. Or to find out more about how an ESG or social responsibility strategy can help your business read more here.