Since my theme through April is around mindful living, I am naturally immersed in the topic. Even otherwise, I try and practice being mindful as much as I can.
So when an old colleague dropped by yesterday evening, we were reminiscing about “those” days and “these days”. We recalled our “retreats” back then, when the team would get together and actually spend time with an informal activity. We also went out in groups for “social work” where we visited slums and tried to do our bit in terms of improving their lives and tutoring some children.
My friend mentioned that his PR agency helped their clients formulate their CSR policies – which got me thinking about mindfulness at work.
Later, I was pleased to find quite a lot of info online, related to how mindfulness can be used to increase corporate social responsibility. There is a lot of research to support this. It was encouraging to read case studies on how PR firms are incorporating mindfulness in their strategies and programs for their business clients.
Usually, when companies think of public relations, the first thing that comes to mind might be marketing, and building their brand and lead generation. But public relations is more than that. Just as important as the marketing strategy is community relations strategy. More and more organizations are consciously incorporating corporate social responsibility or CSR into their community relations strategy. This is so important in a world where natural resources are fast depleting, as it helps improve sustainability – but also brings businesses closer to their communities – which is such a good thing.
Corporate social responsibility is important for an organization to be sustainable, not just for regulatory reasons but because of the long-term expense of damage caused to the environment, on the community and the business. The good news is, more and more companies are seeing the value in sustainability, and CSR is becoming an inherent part of that.
By definition, Corporate Social Responsibility is an organization’s initiatives to assess and take responsibility for its effects on the environmental and the community it operates in. To do this, it may include policies like recycling, monitoring and trying to reduce waste output and pollution, and working with the people of the community so that the company is an asset rather than a burden. CSR also fosters a positive relationship with the community.
We’ve seen so many cases where businesses don’t care about the effect of the waste and pollution they produce on the community. When they start caring for the people and the environment, they build positive relationships with their community.
I mean, who loves a company that pollutes the air and throws its waste at the community eh?
How to implement CSR?
Naturally, implementation must begin with framing policies for CSR but that’s easier said than done. One way to do it is include it in the company’s public relations strategy by working with a firm like Mosaico PR. The goal is to recognize and respect the value the community brings to the business and give back.
So where does mindfulness fit in, in all this?
That mindfulness improves quality of life is proven. In fact, the essence of mindfulness is to pay attention, resulting in being compassionate and considerate about the impact of one’s actions on others. See the connection with CSR? Mindful behavior is simply socially responsible behavior.
What if an organization’s CSR policies were mindful?
Can businesses use mindfulness as a tool to show the community that they care?
Would it not help it to minimize its impact on the environment and community?
Mindfulness training is also helping employees perform better at work through increased focus, experience less stress and connect better with their colleagues.
Mindfulness at the workplace is a logical step towards greater CSR. Just as businesses are aware that polluting the atmosphere is no good for the environment or their reputation, they are also becoming conscious about their employee’s emotional and spiritual well-being and being mindful is the answer. When practiced sincerely, it can positively impact our health, our relationships and our impact on the world.
What do you think about mindfulness for business?
(By the way, my post for B in the A to Z Challenge is Breathwalking – check it out! It is fun)