Employees are not voiceless entities within an unchanging establishment. The workplace can and should be fluid, changing as needed to optimize workflow and ensure employee satisfaction.
An active employee with a vested interested in their place of work can use their voice to initiate change that is for the collective good of the entire company.
In this article, we look at how workers can use their voice to bring about corporate change and conscientious business practices.
Balancing Work and Life
Employees are more than just their job. In fact, the majority of the most important moments of their life will happen outside of the office.
The average worker is substantially happier with their work when they enjoy a healthy balance between life and work. What’s more, a happy worker is also statistically proven to be a more efficient worker.
The company bottom line aside, however, there are also pressing social issues pertaining to work-life balance. Perhaps the biggest of these is maternity leave.
For many people, parental leave is a real problem. For mothers recovering from birth and getting to know their new children, the matter is of particular importance. Though fifty percent of the workforce is made up of women, many of whom will at some point bear children, company policy rarely favors the parent.
However, it’s not all bad news. In fact, experts often say that maternal/paternal leave practices are fluid and can be negotiated. By taking a firm stance, employees have the opportunity to talk their way into longer breaks and better benefits.
It helps to know your rights. The Family Leave Act guarantees at least three months worth of time off. Though this guarantee does not ensure pay, it at least serves as an assurance that parents will have their jobs when they come back to work.
Replacement pay is rare in the world of parental leave, but you never get what you don’t ask for.
Why Your Voice Is so Important
Figuring out how to speak up in the workspace is a bit of a tight rope walk. On the one hand, you don’t want to come across as meek. On the other hand, you also do not want to rock the boat in a way that people find aggravating, or unnecessary.
A balanced but firm voice in the workspace can make a major difference. For one thing, stepping up ensures that you are the only person defining who you are in the workspace. By establishing a strong personality, you ensure a distinct identity in the office.
It can also just be better for your career. Outspoken people are usually better communicators and more dominant members of a collaborative team. As a result, they are more likely to get noticed, more likely to be on the receiving end of unique opportunities, and perhaps even more likely to receive the chance to advance.
The key is to make sure that any outspokenness is done deliberately. Be known as the person that stands up for what is right, and you can expect to see long term benefits as a result.
Making the Case for Social Responsibility
Major corporate entities are in a unique position to do some good in the world. It almost sounds like a contradiction based on the average news cycle, and indeed it may be, but such does not need to be the case.
Social responsibility on a corporate level is as much to the organization’s benefit as it is the general public that could benefit from their generosity.
Impact investment is the practice of using corporate funds for charitable or social causes. In fact, there are over 22 trillion dollars worth of investment assets in circulation for sustainability-related issues alone. With statistics like that, it becomes abundantly clear that impact investing can be impactful.
Employers may take to the notion of giving back for the simple fact that it can be to their own benefit to do so. In addition to being good for publicity, corporate participation in charitable causes can also boost morale and enhance the overall productivity of the workforce.
Pointing out the many benefits of impact investing and corporate charity is a great way to get employers interested in giving back.