Business and Society: How can YOU make a difference?
By Mia Casey
Often many view business – whether big or small – as independent capitalist structures providing more social problems than benefits. However this idea is changing. Across start-up companies and other established organisations, many are beginning to see the value in incorporating socially conscious business practice into their working understanding of where their company fits within society. For business students, it’s important to understand why valuing socially conscious practice is so important, so we’ve compiled some information to help you thrive in this new landscape and make a difference with your work!
So why should people who work in business be more socially aware?
Well to start with, socially conscious practice encourages community loyalty. Establishing a reputation for being generous and willing to give back to the community not only solidifies your company’s market base, but can also encourage new consumers or clients to get on board! Whether it is donating money, establishing positive environmental procedures within the work place, or partnering with charitable organisations, by participating in social-conscious business practice, more people will be drawn to your company.
On a more personal level, building industry connections through a reputation for social awareness and positive entrepreneurial practice or volunteerism can greatly increase your opportunities for industry recognition and can definitely help future job applications stand out from the crowd. As start-up companies are gaining traction and incorporating these practices, and traditional businesses are beginning to take on these new ideas, it is vital to reflect on your own practice and ask yourself how your work will be beneficial to both your organisation and to society.
It is especially important to incorporate these procedures early on when establishing a business or participating in entrepreneurial endeavours. By creating a solid groundwork for socially conscious practice, your work can gain immediate credibility and positive recognition.
There are other benefits as well: Michael Porter gave a TED Talk in 2013, where he highlights the issues with the old ideology that businesses helping to solve social problems is bad practice or unprofitable. Dismissing this idea, Porter points out that in fact companies who put time and resources into issues such as reducing pollution and maintaining the health of their employees are making profit as there are better and more efficient work processes in place.
Watch Porter’s talk below and reflect on how this way of thinking could impact your work in the future:
If you’re a UTS business student and interested in learning more about how participating in socially conscious business practice is vital for sustainable success, come along to the exciting Startup Socially event held on August 23rd as part of UTS:Careers’ Festival of Future You With representatives from a range of organisations participating in a panel discussion and QandA, this event is not to be missed so register today!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
By Mia Casey