Conscious capitalism is not just a good idea or simply a nice thing to do, it can result in a strong bottom line and a more sustainable company in the long term. With the changes that we continue to see on multiple fronts including: the changing nature of work, consumer activism and mobility, social media-driven 24-hour accountability, and concerns about global resources; more companies, large or small, will need to make a conscious effort to develop their workplace to meet those challenges.
Sustainable businesses that create shared value within their organizations are driven by purpose. Financial returns are the result of challenged and engaged workplace. A sound investment in well -rounded development strategies should be considered to develop win-win outcomes instead of trade-offs. Engaged employees create loyal customers, inspire to growth the business, trust and is trusted by suppliers, and generates profits, all while being part of the communities in which they resides. Businesses need ethical, self-aware leaders and employees who are motivated primarily by intrinsic factors, service and purpose, rather than the highest paycheck.
Realistically, the job of business is to make money, employees go to work to bring home a paycheck. While some object to workplace development because they believe it distracts businesses from making money, it is unwise to object to the idea of companies striving to deliver value through people. However, corporations still continue to object to workplace development because of what they see as a fetish that training and development consultants feed off of, or worst they believe corporate executives have found a more palatable way to improve their bottom lines. In order to sustain innovation, these outdated and unrealistic mindsets need to change. The idea that employees are to perform because they are paid to do so is old world logic. Our present economic situation has shown this is not reality. Companies are now accountable in a way they were not previously. Innovative workplace development is a current world view and one that needs to be embraced.
In our work as a workplace development focus firm, enlightening corporate leadership, and advising corporations on long-term strategies for growth, we have seen the broader effects of their operations on the communities in which they do business. Companies that are able to demonstrate a culture of continuous learning and a commitment to development are the organizations that ultimately endure. It is because they seem to have an understanding of how the action of their employees have a direct impact on the health of their business, as well as the health of the global community in which they operate.
However, these companies didn’t come to this place easily. What the global economic crisis has brutally taught them, is the substance of the relationship between achieving business results and global sustainability lie in the ongoing development efforts and strategies that companies deploy. As the working world continues to evolve, so do the needs and aspirations of the global workforce. All organizational leaders should seek new ways to cultivate talent, develop leadership abilities, nurture career growth and engage their employees in their strategies and objectives.
By Sophia Sanchez, SPHRFounder and Principal Consultant Develop For Results International – A minority and woman-owned consulting firm based in Norfolk, Va., advising clients in the workplace development, employee engagement, and change management strategies. Author of “The Development Alternative: Powerful Strategies for unparalleled Business Results” DevelopForResults.com