- Research by A Blueprint for Better Business found one in six people have changed jobs due to behaviour and action in the workplace
- Junior members of staff most likely to do things which make them uncomfortable in the workplace
- More support needed to help employees discuss workplace issues that cause them unease
A report by The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) was released today. Entitled “Everyone’s Business: Making Business Work for All“. The report is timely as it reflects the mood that the social problems we face as a society require collaboration from all parts of society rather than an allocation of separate roles to government, business and society. Each contributes to, and draws from, the totality of society that sustains them.
It was encouraging to hear at the launch that a common theme of both the CSJ spokespeople and the invited Minister, Nick Hurd MP, was the message to business that “what they do matters” in creating a fairer society that includes dignity and social mobility. The call was to recapture the narrative about the broader good that business contributes to society rather than to allow the dominant narrative to be about the self interested people and businesses that disrespect people and use society for financial ends. With that position of influence, and encouragement, comes responsibility and the “how they go about their business” is something they should be, and should seek to be, judged by. Judged not just by society at large but also by the business community, as the strong evidence base that the report draws on shows that “not thinking about social responsibility harms your business “.
The Government’s mission-led business review started out with a narrow definition of a ‘mission-led business’ as a subset of mainstream business. What is very exciting from the report published today, is to see how their own consultation led to a broadening of the agenda, ending up with a healthy recognition that there is an emergent mission-led business movement occurring across the UK, and of businesses of all sizes.
The report notes the increasingly important role of business generally in addressing social and environmental challenges in the 21st century. It very helpfully recognises both the crucial importance of government, and at the same time the inherent limitations of law and regulation. It rightly calls for government, private sector and civil society to work together in a focussed effort to promote a lasting change in mainstream business culture. Government needs to encourage the work that many companies are doing as well as highlighting unacceptable practices. We need to shift the default so businesses see profit as the outcome of living out a purpose that serves society, rather than the sole aim. Advancing this change in expectations is one that mainstream business can and must lead. We have found that major companies seek out Blueprint voluntarily to be a mirror from society to help catalyse their moves towards putting social goals at the heart of their way of working and thinking. Such leadership from within business needs to be encouraged.