WRITTEN BY RYAN JACKSON
A responsible business shouldn’t just be accountable to clients, but to staff and society, too. Gemini Parking Solutions CEO, Ryan Jackson, offers ways to be a responsible employer.
Corporate responsibility should be integral to business culture, and ethical values begin and end with leadership. Directors and CEOs must lead on a company’s corporate responsibility and hold their staff accountable in implementing responsible ethical policies and organisational procedures.
But what does it all mean? And how do you ensure you’re a responsible employer?
Embed your Company Values
Although ‘company values’ might appear on websites or company documents, how far is the ‘talk’ walked, in day-to-day practice? Our values are what we live by – important beliefs that dictate our ways of working. And to that end, they should be obvious and clear in all our practices.
Values should be the basis of your brand, your mission and your operations. Values determine how your employees act and the normal running of your business in all aspects of its existence.
Wellbeing in the Workplace
Work-related stress is a major issue, affecting productivity, staff morale, employee retention, and business as a whole – impacting on customers and profits.
It makes sense for leaders to make work a stress-free, pleasant place to be for staff to deliver on your business vision, aims and targets. Think of ways to improve mental and emotional wellbeing – whether it’s by offering spring water ‘on tap,’ fresh fruit; leisure centre passes; lunchtime yoga or swimming sessions; meditation and mindfulness courses, or counselling and coaching.
Provide awards and rewards, engage your team in discussion to increase a sense of ownership, and openly praise staff to ensure they feel appreciated and valued.
Staff Personal Development
Value and grow staff by giving them opportunities to learn new skills, attitudes, knowledge and experience.
At Gemini, staff development includes broader personal development. I share my knowledge of success mindsets and formulas, beliefs and leadership skills with all levels of staff to help them develop.
I share my own story and encourage every individual to become the best version of themselves. We have explored mindfulness, run sessions on addressing limiting beliefs, looked at personal values and personal financial management.
Feedback has been amazing, and staff are really invested in our company’s success, as well as their own.
Socially Responsible Employer
Giving back to society is integral to the brand identity of businesses like Ben & Jerry, Greggs and The Body Shop. Customers are more socially and environmentally conscious too, and will opt to buy from more ethical companies with a positive social impact and evident responsibility towards the community.
To attract both new and loyal customers and to allow staff to feel that they are benefiting society, it makes good business – and social – sense to operate, and celebrate their participation, in socially responsible ways.
Ways to do this are to make contributions to local groups or charities; offer space or staff as volunteers in the community; or use and provide ethically-produced or locally-sourced goods.
Sustainability and climate issues are coming to the fore and the need to protect the environment is a growing public concern.
Customers care. In surveys, it was discovered that 66% of customers said they were willing to pay more for a sustainably branded product.
Many companies are taking their environmental responsibility seriously – to great business profit, as well to reduce their impact on their environment.
More and more businesses are adopting to use renewable energy; recycling; reducing their carbon footprint; ensuring their supply chain evidences environmental sustainability and ensuring they use and offer ethically and environmentally friendly products, services and resources.
For the world, for staff and for profits, it makes great business sense.
Ryan Jackson is the founder and CEO of Gemini Parking Solutions, the UK’s only values-based Car Park Management Company. A serial entrepreneur, Ryan’s passion is to build innovative companies that disrupt the status quo and pave the way for new ways of thinking in various industry sectors.