This week we received confirmation that Globe’s application to sign the Lincoln Social Responsibly Charter had been accepted.
Social responsibility is one of those elements of business that seems almost designed to be difficult, particularly for a small company. I think there are elements at we all ‘get’ about adding social value and trying to be more socially responsible, like a café changing out their plastic spoons for wooden ones, or a construction company installing extra recycling stations as part of a building project. However, understanding and quantifying social value for some small organisations can be more difficult, especially if like Globe you’re not in the business of selling physical products.
When I first started learning about social responsibility, one thing that struck me was how much we, and I’m sure many other companies, already build socially responsible actions into much we do as employers; from enhanced terms for holiday and maternity pay for our staff, to giving everyone their birthday off work (while some of my colleagues might see a day getting stuck into some planning law as quite the treat, it’s possible they could want to spend the day with their family instead!). A lot of the things we do as a company that we think of as good for the business, such as flexitime and working from home arrangements, are actually led by creating a better work-life balance for staff, which is an important way of being socially responsible.
Then there are the things we do to support development, from funding our graduates through their postgraduate degrees to organising study trips where the whole office takes a day out the office to bond, eat, and hopefully learn a few things along the way. We do them because we think that’s the best way to build an engaged, skilled and committed workforce, but you guessed it, it’s social responsibility again.
Of course, impact on the environment and wider community are also important areas for adding social value, and as a small business we like to spend our time and resources making an impact locally, so are representatives or ambassadors for several local organisations supporting the community and sharing our skills, alongside financially contributing to a number of local sports people and events. While we have a Corporate Social Responsibly Policy that we actively review, as signing up to the charter requires you to log each activity separately, it was an interesting exercise to actually sit down and list what we do individually. The charter also asks you to set out your plans for the future. While we have a power management strategy and try to reduce single use plastic use, there’s always more we can do and it was good to bring those ideas to the forefront of my mind and make some firmer plans.
I’d encourage Lincoln businesses to take a look at the Lincoln Social Responsibility Charter at: https://www.lincoln.gov.uk/business/lincoln-social-responsibility-charter/