Doing good while doing good business: laying a cornerstone for social responsibility by fostering personal development and prosocial behavior in the workforce
This thesis explores growing demands on commercial enterprises to conduct business in a socially responsible manner, and how enterprises might best respond to this pressure by focusing on their own workforce. More particularly, it examines principles behind making workplace-focused social responsibility an integral aspect of every business organization’s mission, purpose, and operations. It advocates for fostering personal development and prosocial behavior among the workforce to lay a cornerstone for these obligations, while concurrently enhancing employee development and engagement. Sources of contemporary demands to be socially responsible are examined including deep roots in ethics and morality, constructs for socially responsible business practices found in law, policy, and business norms, and current research in human biology and organizations. Implementation of workplace-focused socially responsible measures is also considered. Traditional approaches are outlined, and innovative programs focused on workforce well-being are surveyed. A secular, science-backed program to cultivate compassion, mindfulness, and resilience in the workforce is analyzed in detail. Lessons from organizations that have adopted similar approaches to workforce culture and well-being are shared. Laying a cornerstone for organizational social responsibility in the workplace is smart and effective business practice, best accomplished by actively fostering personal development and prosocial behavior among the workforce. Such an approach can improve profits, enhance motivation, commitment, and engagement among jobholders, and promote significant societal benefits inside and outside the organization.