Creating Social Change at the Workplace: The Why and How’s?

Picture by: Brooke Cagle

Here’s how businesses can play a role in society. Social change should be one of the goals of any business. Social change is a process of improving the lives of individuals and society as a whole. It is a collective effort that requires time and dedication, and it starts in the workplace.

Business doesn’t just happen in the office, it’s everywhere all around us. Hence, you should consider how your operations can have an impact on society. There is more to running a business simply gaining profits and planning expansion. Your organisation should also be an essential platform of empowering people of all cultures to promote social change.

According to Deloitte’s 10th annual Global Millennial and Gen Z Survey, nearly three-quarters of Millennials and Gen Z are better in tune with social issues and others’ needs. In said survey forty-four percent of millennials and 49% of Gen Zs said that, over the past two years, their personal values had a role to play in their choices about the types of work they would do, and the organizations they’d be willing to work for. Hence, businesses are trying to incorporate more social change in the workplace. These social changes not only bring a feeling of fulfillment but positively impacts the community as well.

And with that, here are some ways to create social change at the workplace:

It’s never easy to create change, but the first step is always having an idea of what issues you would like to tackle at the start, Start by creating a definite cause and working towards it. 

The world is filled with worrying issues such as injustice, poverty, and natural disasters. However, attempting to solve everything all at once is not the most efficient idea and can eventually lead to burnout and wasted efforts. It would be much more strategic to focus and work towards a specific cause before making other initiatives. After all, how can social changes have an effect in the workplace environment if no one has an idea for what to change first?

Having a definite goal for your corporate social responsibility allows you to create concrete plans to achieve them. Moreover, it helps you identify and measure the impacts you would want to get out of your endeavors. You can also align your social initiatives with your organisational objectives to fully integrate within your company’s culture. 

Another way to encourage social change in the workplace is by promoting and implementing ethical business practices. Actions ultimately speak louder than words, so for the most part, an organization should practice what they preach in terms of changes. As companies and organizations have a role to play in society, they too have a responsibility in creating positive change. In line with the goals of the workplace and concerns in the community, social change can occur when an organisation promotes their values and tackles related issues appropriately, and there are many ways to do so. Take this, for example.

Let’s say you’re a manufacturing company that wants to help fight climate change, but are unsure where to start. Don’t overthink it, and first start small. You can begin by implementing sustainable methods for your manufacturing operations. In addition, you can also try to utilise environment-friendly materials for your production and make sure that your factories don’t negatively affect the communities near them. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It is only logical to create one step at a time. One of the best things to do to invoke social change in the workplace is to encourage other employees to join the effort.

Social responsibility should go more profound than at an organization level. Encouraging fellow employees to volunteer is a practical way to involve staff in social impact initiatives and boost morale. In a recent survey by Deloitte (pdf), 74 percent of workers said they believe volunteerism provides an improved sense of purpose.

Employees should be encouraged to volunteer in activities that have positive social impacts coinciding with their values. One manner would be going out of the office to do humanitarian work in certain communities. If instead climate change is your concern, community cleanup projects could be held where other employees can join in on their own accord.

By fully incorporating a cause into the organisation’s culture, employees will feel more empowered as they resonate with those issues on a personal level. Most importantly, these efforts in still a sense of shared responsibility for everyone in the company.

Businesses are more than just about making profit. They have the capability to change society. Especially since change is more likely when there is more than one person involved. With some resources and effort, it is possible to influence systemic change for the better. Which is why, it is high time we take the initiative to promote social change.

In this process, employees also develop a sense of purpose in their jobs. This can boost overall morale within the company and motivate them to work harder to achieve the shared goals. 


1. Start by creating a definite cause and working towards it. 
2. Promote and implement ethical business practices.
3. Encourage employees to volunteer in activities that have positive social impacts.
4. Establish a culture of shared responsibility.
5. Boost overall morale and motivation in the company.

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