The cost of living crisis will be something we’re going to hear a lot more about this year. Many businesses are basing their New Years’ Resolutions for 2023 around helping their team through it.
But that’s not all you can do to be a more ethical business this year. Even if you’re already feeling good about your Environmental, Social, and Governance efforts, there’s often a little more you can do.
So what if you want to do business more ethically but don’t have a huge budget to do it with?
Here are some small, inexpensive things you can do to support your team, community, and the environment in these depressingly tough times:
Low-cost New Years’ Resolutions for ethical business in 2023
1) Monthly communal lunches
Keeping your team connected (and giving them a good feed) every once in a while helps foster positivity and build social connections. This is especially true if many of your team work remotely.
The price of lunch is relatively slight compared with most business costs. However, even if you only facilitate the meet rather than provide the meal, you can still reap the benefits of bringing your team together for a regular non-work social.
2) Mental health days off
The year ahead is likely to see energy bills and prices in the UK rise still further. In turn, this is likely to mean rising levels of stress and poor mental health.
Worker burnout and presenteeism are a huge drain on the economy every year. Presenteeism describes those days when a team member comes to work despite being ill and is therefore much less productive than normal (because they should be at home resting but feel like they can’t).
Paid or unpaid mental health days off without censure have shown themselves to be very effective in the fight against presenteeism and burnout. They also cost businesses next to nothing to institute and get your team back to full productivity quickly.
3) Cycle-to-work schemes
Exercise is vital for your team’s mental and physical health. Healthier workers mean better productivity (and thus more profit).
A cycle-to-work scheme is one of the best ways to encourage this. There are many ways you can set one up – and the government provides some handy cycle scheme guidance for things to consider when you do.
A scheme like this wins the big ethical trifecta – it’s good for your people, good for the environment, and highly sustainable too. You’ll also see much less lateness caused by traffic or delayed buses and your employees will save some money on their dream bike and equipment.
4) Small-scale financial support and subsidies
Nearly 1 in 4 UK employers are directly supporting their team in the cost-of-living crisis. Many small and medium-scale employers can’t afford to give their employees the big salary increases that the times really call for though.
However, there are a few smaller-scale ways you can provide the kind of financial support your team might find helpful this year:
- Discounts, stipends, and subsidies – for things like partner stores, energy prices, commuting costs, or cost of living-related home improvements.
- Guidance and planning assistance – for things like personal finances, mental health, or general well-being.
- Early wage access and hardship funds – for team members struggling with real emergencies.
5) Donate or recycle your unwanted tech
Ethical business in 2023 will include more than supporting your team through the cost of living crisis.
Doing your bit for the planet too will mean having systems in place to make sure unwanted or unused technology like old printers or desktop monitors get recycled or donated as appropriate (rather than ending up in some landfill).
Old equipment being thrown out is a huge cause of waste each year. Disposing of yours responsibly is also low-hanging fruit in terms of affordable ethical business.
6) Free weekly training or volunteering hours
One of the keys to good mental health and being engaged at work is learning something for yourself or doing something to help others.
Many businesses (including all the geeks here at Dial A Geek) benefit from a some paid time each week that they can use for self-improvement or to volunteer for a local cause that matters to them (we offer our employees anywhere between 1h and 7.5h a week depending on their job role and contractual hours).
It’s another cheap and easy way to do something that’s good for your team and your local community. It doesn’t hurt your brand reputation either.
What ethical business resolutions will you make for 2023?
There is a huge host of small and affordable things that businesses in every industry can do to make the way they operate more ethical in 2023. If you don’t tick every box on this list already, why not pick one and put it into place this year?
Let us know if there are any other small and affordable things that make a big difference – we’ll add them to this list. Tweet at us (@dialageek) or just send us a message through our contact us page.ALL ARTICLES