Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Create a Business with Heart

By Catherine Rocheleau on Feb 27 2012 • Filed under Business

Create Heart in Your Business (Photo: Robert Proksa)February is the month we associate with heart. It includes Valentine’s day and is the national heart health month. I thought this was a good month to review ways you, as a business owner, can integrate more heart into your business.

What is business with heart?

Today’s businesses must focus on more than profitability if they are to be successful. Businesses continue to focus on wealth building, but they now recognize that wealth sharing is a critical facet that cannot be ignored. Giving back to the community and reducing their impact on the environment is now a necessity for a business who wishes to engage top talent, and build strong relationships with consumers and community members.

Business with heart considers all facets on the triple bottom line – people (employees, the community, clients), planet (environmental impact) and profits. They strive to create economic value while also creating social or environmental value at the same time. Each factor is important in all decisions and actions are transparent and well documented. Corporate philanthropy is as important as profit-making components of any business.

What Steps Can You Take?

1. Integrate your Values

Are you clear on your own personal values and the values of your employees? Have you established clear values for your business? If not, this is the place to start! If values are not clear and in alignment, there will be challenges – a true misfit!

One of my top values is education. This has become an integral focus of my business endeavours, my own professional development and is part of my charitable focus this year. This alignment creates a strong link between the three and allows me to maintain a strong focus. It also sends a clear message to my team, colleagues and clients of what is important.

2. Set SMART goals.

For any business, setting goals should be routine. Business goals should include philanthropic goals that are clear and measurable. For example, this year I have established a project with a local charity. My goal is to send six young women to university for one year so they can become leaders in their community.

Can you measure the impact of your social and environmental efforts? Are your efforts transparent so others can clearly recognize that you do what you say? If not, it is important to establish a method to both measure and report on actions taken and results achieved. Be specific. Rather than state “a portion of profits,” state a specific amount of total revenue ie: 1% of gross sales, or $2.00 of each book. These numbers cannot be manipulated or branded as a “green-wash.”

3. Engage Others

Are your philanthropic goals resonating with members of your team and with your customers? Are your efforts more than lip service to a cause? How do you demonstrate this commitment? Employees are more motivated to help you to achieve your goals if they are part of the process. Do you support their desire to volunteer for causes important to them?

Many large corporations are now encouraging their employees to volunteer in the communities where they live and work. They support these efforts by allowing time off from work and/or providing financial, marketing or physical resources such as equipment. Millennials and Generation Y’s now expect this involvement from employers. Failing to integrate and involve them in social enterprise efforts means they will look elsewhere for employment. If you want to attract and retain top talent, engagement is critical.

Isn’t it time for you to seriously add heart to your business? Your community, the environment and your bottom line will thank you!


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  1. EWM Article — Create a Business With Heart » Ignite Leadership International

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