Tis the Season for Social Consciousness - Amber Hurdle | Brand Strategy & Leadership

Tis the Season for Social Consciousness

December 17, 2018

Something about the holiday rush puts people in a socially conscious mood. Some see the holiday season as one of over consumption, but I see it as one of giving back, doing good for others, and lots of loving your neighbor. Okay, maybe I’m more of a social entrepreneur?

There are plenty of ways to incorporate social consciousness into your business from the inside out, including hiring racially and socioeconomic diverse employees; paying an equitable and fair salary to the men and women on your team; incorporating charitable giving into your business model; striving to create less waste and lower your carbon footprint with your business; and creating an empathetic work environment so your team can bring their whole self with them to work. These things change the way your business operates at its core while reflecting the values your business is founded on.

You may be asking why would I go through the hassle to make these big changes? I know, you’re likely a small business owner and you are already stretched to your limits.

There are plenty of reasons why social consciousness is better for your business. It can create loyal customers (and likely attracts new ones, too) that when able to choose to give their money to a business that cares about a cause they connect with or one that doesn’t, they’ll likely choose the one that cares about something bigger than their profits.

When creating an empathic work environment that prioritizes self care and wholeness, you are creating a work space that is safe and healthy, leading to greater productivity of your employees and customers.

It can support your community and show that you care about the people around you. By giving regularly to a local nonprofit organization, whether with time or money, you are displaying that your business is giving back to the people who support it.

Not to mention, it can even improve your health, as having a purpose, something bigger than the day-to-day grind, actually does your brain and body good.

How do you make it happen? Let’s start small. Here are 3 practical steps you can take to become more socially responsible in your biz.

1. Recycle.

Nothing ground shaking here, but even small acts of good can make a big difference. Nearly 90% of what we throw away could potentially be recovered through reuse, recycling or composting, so make it easy for your team to do so. Provide recycling bins and instructions for how to do so properly. Make sure you create a plan for pick up or drop of as well. One small step to do good for our Mother Earth.

2. Develop a partnership with a local nonprofit.

Your community is full of hardworking nonprofits supporting various causes. They are the glue of your community! Find one organization that potentially aligns with the mission of your business. Is your audience female focused? Consider creating a partnership with an organization that empowers marginalized girls. Are you an interior designer? Create a partnership with a home building or home improvement organization that supports folks without funds to make home improvements and are facing eviction. Are you simply passionate about a certain cause that has impacted your life? Share your story and use that as a connecting point for your partnership.

What does a partnership look like? Lots of things! It can look like giving a portion of profits to the organization, volunteering with the organization as a team, or creating a special product that features the organization. Get creative! Do what works for you and your team as well as the organization.

3. Create a just work environment so your team can thrive.

It is necessary to remember your own team! Consider the questions below, and based on your answers make tweaks to you the work you are doing to create a more just workplace for your team to thrive. Remember, small changes make a big impact! When people feel valued, they are able to thrive as a member of the team.

  • Consider the physical environment of your workplace. Does the aesthetic promote productivity and comfort? Do you make it easy for your employees basic human needs to be met? Is the bathroom stocked with toilet paper? Do you have coffee/tea available? What about a place to store and heat lunch?
  • Do you provide opportunities for leadership development and make clear the steps to promotion?
  • Are you empathetic? Does your team feel safe to be themselves at work?
  • Can your employees ask for time off if sick and not feel shamed for not being in the office?
  • Are there opportunities for basic self-care? Are your employees encouraged to engage in healthy behaviors outside of work?
  • When does the work day end? Do you expect team members to regularly respond to emails on the weekends or after work hours?
  • Are you paying your men and women equally for the same work (while considering other factors such as education level and work experience)?

I can’t wait to hear what you’re doing in your small business for the betterment of your team, community, and planet. Find me in the Bombshell Business app and let’s talk all things social consciousness!

About the Author

Abby Hyman

Amber Hurdle Consulting

Social Media

Abby Hyman is the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Amber Hurdle Consulting. She is an expert in strategically coordinating multiple social media profiles for personal brand clients, consistently showcasing each client while maintaining a unique voice and staying on brand. With a background in nonprofit leadership and public relations, she uses her expertise for good, providing branding and organizational health support to community organizations. Abby’s passion to see women, people of color, and other marginalized groups succeed drives her compassionate and goal-focused approach to social media strategizing that brings awareness and increases sales.

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