When considering corporate social responsibility, most people think of corporate philanthropic initiatives designed to have an impact on an external community. Similarly, we often applaud nonprofit organizations for their external social impact. But what happens when companies and organizations take a look internally?
Although fostering a culture of balance, support, and well-being is crucial to employee health and happiness, it isn’t always prioritized.
This can be especially true in nonprofit culture, which is often perceived as being somewhat chaotic and unbalanced, due, in part, to lack of human and financial resources, and also, the nature of the work. When working to address a social injustice or issue, every task feels incredibly urgent and the sheer amount of work to be done can be overwhelming. As a result, the individuals, organizations, and businesses behind the work can lose sight of how important it is to treat themselves and each other well.
Fostering a culture of happiness is good for everyone – employees and employers. In fact, studies have shown that positive employees outperform negative employees in productivity, sales, energy levels, turnover rates and healthcare costs.
If you’re able to influence your company or organization’s workplace culture, here are some things to consider:
Allow flexible work schedule
Whenever possible, empower and support your employees’ most productive and effective work schedules and habits. When you hire people you trust to do good work, you also need to trust them to determine when and how they are most productive and efficient. The number of hours your employees spend at the office is not always directly proportionate to their output, so rather than implementing a strict schedule, let your employees make those decisions themselves. Studies have shown that flexible work schedules lead to improved mental health, reduced stress, and increased output.
Promote health & wellness
Encouraging your employees to take care of themselves mentally and physically will make a huge difference in their positivity. This support can come in many forms – here are just a few:
- Subsidize your employees’ fitness costs
- Provide free yoga classes
- Encourage daily meditation breaks
- Allow employees to take breaks to exercise elsewhere during the day
- Offer paid parental leave to your employees
No matter which route you take, caring about your employees’ health is so important. Healthier employees are not only generally happier, they’re also more productive, and cost companies less in terms of healthcare
Implement a kindness challenge
Encourage your employees to be mindful about how they treat one another by implementing a kindness challenge. This can take whatever shape you think will be most effective in your own workplace. You could, for example, make a list of kind acts that your employees can take part in weekly. Or you could encourage your employees to send one quick email per day to a team member who helped them with something or did something particularly well. Whatever it looks like, these reminders to be kind to one another will go a long way in fostering workplace positivity.
So whether you’re a business that’s considering corporate social responsibility initiatives or a nonprofit organization focused on 360’ impact, be sure to look internally.
If you’re not sure where to start in your own workplace, here are seven meaningful questions that will help you gauge where there’s room for improvement.
Do you know of a nonprofit or a business that’s particularly great at fostering a culture of positivity and balance? What are they doing? Share with us! Here’s how: