Employer engagement exists when the values and practices of a company support the needs of society as well as the profitability of the business.
That statement is a key tenet of Companies That Care Day, an annual national event marked on the third Thursday of March to encourage employers and employees to collaboratively address a significant societal issue that undermines community well-being.
The event is sponsored by the Center for Companies That Care, a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring social sustainability and improving lives. The decade-old center seeks to educate and inspire employers to adhere to 10 characteristics of socially responsible companies:
- Sustain a work environment founded on dignity and respect for all employees.
- Make employees feel their jobs are important.
- Cultivate the full potential of all employees.
- Encourage individual pursuit of work/life balance.
- Enable the well-being of individuals and their families through compensation, benefits, policies and practices.
- Develop great leaders at all levels who excel at managing people as well as results.
- Appreciate and recognize the contributions of people who work there.
- Establish and communicate standards for ethical behavior and integrity.
- Get involved in community endeavors and/or public policy.
- Consider the human toll when making business decisions.
On Care Day, companies are encouraged to jump-start and expand on activities that reflect these 10 characteristics. This year’s theme is childhood literacy and the need for library resources in less-advantaged schools, but participants may focus on any issue they feel is relevant in their community.
There are a number of other Companies That Care tenets worthy of deeper contemplation. Among them:
- “We believe most people are ethical and live with integrity. We believe most people can be trusted. We know our work policies should be developed based on these assumptions.”
- “We believe a mother’s or father’s greatest responsibility is raising their children even though neither can stay home to raise them in the traditional division of labor of generations past. We are in the midst of evolutionary change. We believe employers must adapt to the realities of our current and future society; otherwise, we know employees will choose to work somewhere else.”
- “When making decisions, we should consider the human toll, both today and on the unborn next generation.”
Beyond earning a paycheck, we all want to feel our work has a deeper meaning. That’s one of the advantages of being employed in a profession that involves efforts to ensure health and safety in the workplace. It may not be the world’s most visible or glamorous profession, but it routinely presents opportunities to make a real difference – and in turn provides the intrinsic rewards we crave. The rewards can be as immediate as seeing an employee go home from work in as good or better shape than when he or she arrived, to long-term improvements in environmental conditions that have positive global repercussions.
Does your organization pass the socially responsible litmus test? The 10 characteristics the Center for Companies That Care defines as the code of conduct for optimal daily business practices is a good starting place.
It boils down to the center’s simple homily: “If we all do a little, we can truly accomplish a lot.”
Count on UL’s workplace health and safety solutions to help to protect the well-being of your workers, ensure organizational compliance and drive business results.