In our most recent blog ESG: 3 Areas to Research for Achievable Corporate Environmental Responsibility Goals, we looked at realistic environmental goals you might set. Today, we’re going to follow that piece with the next stage of ESG development - Corporate Social Responsibility.
As we mentioned previously, these three ESG pillars (Environment, Social and Governance) are essential to your corporate strategic goals for a number of reasons. Here then, we’re going to explore how your technology and workspace solutions can deliver ESG results for your organisation with a focus on Social Responsibility.
Social Strategies for ESG Improvements
We’ve broken the social pillar into three areas allowing us to develop them further and explore technology, infrastructure and workspace improvements possible in each of them.
1) Keep employees healthy, comfortable and safe
Potentially the most basic of your responsibilities is to ensure the welfare of your people. As an employer there are expectations regarding Health and Safety and making the most of your workplace technology will help you support these goals.
The right building management systems will help you optimise ventilation, heating, and building maintenance for energy savings and also ensuring a happy, healthy and productive workplace.
We know offices have changed in the last few years, in terms of function as well as design. Does your office layout and furniture support your people, providing the right spaces and furniture for their needs? We looked at this in more detail in the post The best office spaces are great for your people and great for you.
As well as considering the physical workplaces you control for your teams, it’s also essential to recognise the needs of those who aren’t at one of your desks. Consider remote workers, either in a fixed location such as their home office or those who are on the road visiting customer client offices, and then there are those working at your locations but outdoors on your sites or with no fixed workstation. How do you support these people?
2) Enhance customer service responsiveness and inclusion
We need to consider your customers too. Increasingly our customers are looking for more from companies, whether that’s support, community, or amazing levels of customer service - if you don’t deliver, it’s much easier for your customer to find someone who will.
Enhance your customer service responsiveness and inclusion, ensure you know who your customers are and what they really need from you to - even when that’s about dealing with unexpected concerns in a human way. We talked more about this here (How Understanding Your Customer Helps Improve Your Online User Experience).
The Total Picture… We discussed TX in this post (Total Experience - Smarter Technology Solutions for a Stronger Business), because your customer experience needs to be more broadly considered than those obvious touchpoints we may have explored in our previous point. TX opens our eyes to the broader scope of our exchanges with customers, recognising that their online experience needs to be viewed alongside their interactions with customer service advisors, digital assistants, and social media relationships.
Social responsibility will also be demonstrated in our relationships with external communities and organisations. These relationships will reflect our brand values and, while this isn’t directly a technology or digital experience, it will be a part of the Total Experience your customers encounter.
3) Develop your people - right to the frontline
Our final focus is back on your employees as supporting these people in your own organisation is a way of supporting social growth and value outside your organisation too.
Providing effective employee training and development across all levels of your business provides benefit to the individuals you employ - and to your organisation as a whole. Ensuring your training and development systems are fit for purpose should increase usage adoption, improving and making the most of your employees digital skills, we looked at this in a post about microlearning.
Within your company, are those who put themselves forward for self-improvement and development awarded for that? Awarding those who take-up advancement opportunities provides benefits across the board.
Looking after your people is something we at IAW keep coming back to, because supporting your staff benefits the individual and the company as a whole. Developing your people with the right opportunities improves employee engagement and staff turnover - something we considered in the post What do your employees value and how do you value them?
Consider Your Social Impact
While development of your technology infrastructure may not seem directly linked to your social responsibilities, there are essential areas of crossover. The support of your people - employees and customers - is underpinned by accessibility, assistance and your brand values.
About the Author
I'm Terry Chana. I am an innovation strategist that connects customer, employee and brand experiences. My passion lies in building ecosystems to solve business problems by combining creativity and technology.