With the many scandals of the past decade involving big business, particularly the stories of sizeable financial bonuses paid to executives of companies that were recipients of government bailouts, it is easy to become sceptical of the motivations of business people in North America.
The top 1% of the population continue to get rich while the middle class struggles to support the status quo and the poor fall farther into poverty. With so much despair and bitterness surrounding the economic scene, it has become clear that businesses need to develop a social conscience: the controversial idea that companies are obligated to serve more than themselves and should exist for other reasons than simply increasing their bottom line.
This sort of economic altruism should not be mistaken for nationalism, for the world today exists as a larger and connected global community. This doesn’t take a sense of patriotic vigour, but instead requires awareness of how business can impact a community and, as a result, the broader world. One doesn’t need to be a superhero to understand that the world can actually (yes, really!) be impacted positively through the actions of a business with a developed social conscience.
The process of developing a social conscience begins with customer relations. It is important to realize that customers are human beings and not merely numbers in the accounts ledger. While many sales people have mastered the pitch, a fraudulent façade meant to make the customer feel appreciated, authenticity remains the only responsible course of action when interacting with clients. Treating people with dignity and respect will grow a business in ways no pitch ever could.
Honesty is Everything
There was a commercial on TV recently that outlined the standards and practices of the TV station and its affiliates. The tagline stated “Be honest…it’s good for business.” The implication was, of course, dishonesty would soon prove detrimental to the success of a business. Honesty, in other words, creates income.
Does that sort of honesty truly reflect a developed social conscience? We believe true honesty in business reflects more than simply enhanced profits. True honesty in business reflects the truth always – even in difficult situations. It means meeting needs before meeting bottom lines. It means treating customers as they deserve to be treated, even if that means going out of the way to do so. It means transparency.
This sort of honesty creates more than simply profits, of course. It creates respect.
With a developed social conscience, the desire to get involved in the community comes naturally. Some companies unfortunately only utilize their standings in communities to advertise and develop a better “reputation.” To truly develop a social conscience, businesses must give back to the communities that have blessed them so greatly. This can be done through charity involvement, volunteer work or simple food drives.
Every action taken expresses genuine interest in the community, fostering a deep sense of satisfaction among employees and making communities better places to live for everyone.
Here at North West Freelance Services, we strive to take these lessons seriously. We are committed to getting to know our customers and to consistently enacting a policy of openness and honesty with our business practices.
North West Freelance Services is dedicated to getting involved in our global community, a resolution we were recently able to put to the test.
It is important to note that the Canadian federal government has promised to match all charitable donations Canadians make to support the many Haitians in crisis. Please give to the Canadian Red Cross, World Vision or other registered charities at work in Haiti.