Conscious business practices have been around for several years, originally developing from the concept of corporate social responsibility. They were devised to bring a more human element to the business world and to ensure businesses operated in an ethical way. Whereas 20 years ago businesses were either commercial or communal, now the most successful businesses combine the two. The business strategy is not just about the bottom line but about improving the lives of the people inside the business, those situated locally and positively impacting the environment.
Within a conscious business, the basics of a business are still important (think finances, structure and stream-lined ops processes), yet it is the beliefs and values that drive the company forward. Every member of the company from the execs to admin staff have bought in to the company vision and ensure each task they complete is aligned to it, so all are responsible for creating the heartbeat of the company. This builds a new level of comradery, with all team members taking pride in their work. And when people take pride in something, they put in more effort, achieving incredible results.
Transparency is key to the success of a company that focuses on company vision and goals. It enables the team to see the direct correlation between the tasks they are completing and the benefits arising from the finished product or service, which results in them being happier at work and so more motivated. This in turn benefits the company. It will lead to better communication, greater efficiency of tasks and heightened creativity within the solutions provided.
The happiness of the team is an important factor to conscious businesses. These businesses understand that the thought forms of the team have a massive impact on their profits. For instance, if someone in the sales team is having a bad day, their attitude could lead to them not making a sale which they’d usually close effortlessly. Therefore, more focus is put on the wellbeing of the team than would have been seen a decade ago. Team members are made to feel supported and are given the opportunity to participate in activities that will improve their mental and emotional health. This could range from a company team building event to meditation sessions or puppy stroking.
Team leaders ensure they discover what motivates each team member as another route to having a happy and driven workforce. For instance, does recognition for a job well done motivate someone, or does a team member want to learn to use the latest tools in their area? Will a free lunch motivate the team? Seeing the team as people in this manner, rather than just a number in a department, and having the desire to support them to fulfil their potential, will create an upbeat environment, increasing the capabilities of the team.
Change is constant and is part of life in a conscious business just as much as any other business. Many people are naturally uncomfortable with it, as we have an inbuilt safety system that teaches us to fear the unknown. However, if we embrace change will be able to learn more about our business and industry, producing more innovative solutions. With every change is the possibility to better serve our customers, increasing the benefits they experience. Just consider the positive impact that can be achieved through every new product or new deal. The concept of creating ‘win/win’ outcomes that benefit all parties is becoming increasingly common for just such a reason. The profits of your customer become just as important as your own profits, encouraging you to produce truly customer-centric products.
Providing solutions that also benefit the local community or give back to it in some way is part of the good a conscious business sets out to deliver. This could range from providing discounted services or products to those in the local area to raising money for a local good cause. The ability to look beyond the company and see the bigger picture may not only provide a monetary perk to the local community but also increases the feel-good factor felt locally. After all, we all love to receive gifts. The team itself will also profit from this as their mood will be positively impacted by helping others. There are other ways a company can give back to the local community, which could provide even more benefits to the team. If the team offer their time to a community project, it could improve their teamwork and increase their soft skills too.
Taking this one step further, conscious businesses also care about the environment. They are aware of the damage we have inflicted on the planet and, as having a healthy planet is essential for us, they look for ways to improve the situation. This could start simply with recycling in the office. Companies also use renewable energy, source material for products locally to reduce their carbon footprint and limit the amount of packaging they use with products. Each option that is incorporated into a company helps to balance out any negative impact on the planet.
The positive outcomes of operating a conscious business are evident, so an increasing number of businesses are seeking to introduce the concepts into their own company. Employees will be happier and more motivated, whilst productivity will increase. Providing benefits to the local community and the environment build the positive mood of the team further. The team become unstoppable, capable of dealing with any challenge. The company flourishes.
Are you ready to get onboard with conscious business practices?