Business In The Community

Businesses create jobs, generate wealth and increase prosperity in society. In most cases they pay the taxes that finance education, health and other essential services. But they are often blamed for not doing enough. Why?

Building community

Businesses are sometimes seen as being at odds with the greater good and sucking away resources from employees and local communities.

In recent years low wages and a dearth of career opportunities lie at the heart of many of the jobs offered by businesses, for which they are rightly criticised.

More can and should be done to improve the role of business in society, not least because they are a necessary element of any successful economy and community.

Businesses and business representative bodies, however, need to promote the role they play in creating and sharing the wealth that enables a functioning society.

Some businesses may focus on making as much money as possible but others have wider and more inclusive aims that benefit the communities in which they operate.

Businesses are often concerned about fulfilling social responsibilities and argue for the fairness and inclusivity of zero-hour and short-term employee contracts.

Students and groups of retired or semi-retired employees welcome the flexibility of zero-hour contracts although they may not represent the majority.

Building a sense of community is often seen as something a company does externally but its internal behaviours towards employees matter too.

Building trust

Businesses must focus on making money but should also build trust with the community they serve or customers will leave and go elsewhere.

Building trust with staff is a good way to increase productivity and can be helped by the payment of fair wage and living wage contracts.

Productivity helps improve living standards and drives higher growth in the economy, which, in turn, is good for business and for employees.

Fair pay leads to reduced sickness and absenteeism and greater recruitment and retention of staff, all of which benefit business and the community.

The alternative may yield results in the short-term but ultimately leads to exclusion and the creation of a burden of responsibility for public services.

Businesses and society will jointly benefit from the provision of better pay, better conditions, staff training and career progression for employees.

Customers too are increasingly aware of the role business plays in society and are attracted to firms with good reputations that care about the community.

The traditional view is that the business of business is to simply do business but a more enlightened view suggests that business must also contribute to society.

Such an approach changes the mantra of business from short-term greed and self-interest to long-term care and concern for people and the environment.

SO, the role of business is changing as the business community rediscovers the benefits of building a better society.