Does your employer have a social conscience?

Thu 17 May

Despite the high expectations from millennials around corporate social responsibility, only 23 per cent of Australian respondents in the latest Deloitte Human Capital Trends report say social responsibility is a top priority reflected in their corporate strategy. And more than half (53%) say it is not a focus for them at all.

Now in its 6th year and surveying more than 11,000 HR and business leaders around the world, Human Capital Trends 2018: The rise of the social enterprise is the largest longitudinal survey of its kind.

The report shows how the world of work is changing to become more personalised and connected, with formal hierarchies breaking down and being replaced by networks of teams. It also highlights a profound shift facing business leaders in Australia and around the world, the rapid rise of the social enterprise.

Deloitte Human Capital leader David Brown said a fundamental change is underway.

“Society’s expectations of business are changing. The focus is now clearly on business’ role in society as a driver of change, just look at the role they played in the marriage equality debate in Australia late last year,” Mr Brown said.

“In the past we have measured business performance on financials and the quality of products or services. Today, social capital is just as important as – and inextricably linked to – human, financial and physical capital.”

He said companies’ reputation, relevance, and bottom-lines increasingly hinge on their ability to act as good citizens and influence pressing public issues.

“With increased transparency and social awareness, business focus is shifting towards stronger relationships with employees, customers and communities. Organisations today are judged for more than their success as a business. They’re now being held responsible for their impact on society at large – their role as a social enterprise,” Mr Brown said.

“This year’s report is a wake-up call for organisations to look beyond their own four walls, cultivate these relationships in a meaningful way and reimagine their approach to their workforce - and their broader role in society - if they want to succeed.”