Mark Topley discusses what can be done in practice to ensure you are doing the right things and how to maximise the effectiveness of your team through CSR
For most businesses, the salary budget is one of the most significant expenses. Yet, many continue to try and squeeze more efficiency from systems and processes when there remains untapped capacity in something they are already paying for – their team.
CSR is an absolutely crucial tool in improving the return on investment (ROI), productivity, and overall wellbeing of your team for one main reason: engagement. As I wrote in my previous article, Gallup points out that an engaged employee generates an ROI of 120% of annual salary. A disengaged person 80%, and an actively disengaged person just 60%. Engaged employees make fewer mistakes and create fewer customer service issues because they care more about getting things right.
So, getting your team engaged (as well as trained and managed) is vital. Employees in socially responsible organisations are around 65% more engaged, so a structured approach to CSR in how you approach your people pays off.
Here’s what the good organisations are doing. You will probably be doing a lot of this – most businesses that are well run will be. However, it is the intentional, structured, and strategic commitment to it that forms the solid basis for CSR.
Leadership and culture
Everything stands or falls on leadership and vision. Today’s teams need purpose, clarity, and direction. A good business will have a clearly articulated, understood, and regularly repeated vision values and purpose for the business and each person’s role. Business goals are shared with all staff, and team members can articulate the goals and values of the practice. The leadership skills required in the business will have been identified and a training/development plan in place.
Regular staff meetings are a basic starting point. They need to be both held and minuted. There will be a written and spoken commitment to honesty and respect in communication, and this is monitored.
You need a formal system in place for giving and receiving feedback, as well as an internal communication system in place – such as Whatspp group, intranet, noticeboard, etc. There should be no surprises – staff are made aware of changes to the practice in advance, and you will need to carry out team surveys to assess morale, and seek feedback and ideas.
People need to see how working with you as part of your team is good for them beyond the transaction of a pay cheque. Each team member should have their own targets, objectives, and/or key performance indicators, with new team members following an induction programme, and each team member having a written personal development plan.
Regular staff one-to-ones are important so that team members understand how they are going to be developed, and what the development track is for their specific role.
Each team member should receive the living wage as minimum, with written criteria for financial and other rewards communicated with all staff. An annual salary review is carried out and increases given where possible, and you should look for ways to give benefits other than pay as creative rewards.
The sad fact is one in four people have left at least one job in the last five years because of pressure and the negative impact it had on their mental health (Censuswide, published in late August by Slater and Gordon).
You can and should keep a close eye on your team’s wellbeing at work – all team members should be offered access to occupational health, and you need a good HR policy in place. In some cases, flexible working patterns and personal development days can be really helpful, as well as proactively managing your culture and the behaviour you tolerate.
Suppliers and patients
Transparency with the people you buy from, and sell to, is paramount. In good practices:
- Pricing structures should published on the practice website/leaflet
- All patients should sign for treatment consent
- Reasonable adjustments are made for disability access
- A system for gathering patient feedback is in place
- Information is readily available to help patients make informed decisions about treatment options
- Patients are informed of changes made to the practice following their feedback
- All suppliers are paid within the time scale of their terms
- Due diligence is carried out on all suppliers to ensure they meet CSR standards.
Whether you consider yourself charitable or not, you can’t argue with the numbers. Taking some time to address your CSR plan will pay off in many ways – including the bottom line – as you attract patients, improve your reputation, and retain and engage your team.
A simple first step is a free download – ‘The 60-minute CSR plan’ – from my website The CSR Coach, where you can also schedule a complimentary call with me.
For more details, visit www.thecsrcoach.uk. Follow Mark on Twitter and Facebook for free articles and advice.