Social sustainability in SMEs: how to identify social sustainability and main benefits of it

Social sustainability in SMEs

The social responsibility of a company is directed on the one hand inwardly towards the employees and on the other hand towards social responsibility.

Identifying social sustainability

Companies draw attention to themselves through (product or service) labels and sustainable management systems.

Labels which are issued by interest groups or public stakeholders can help in showing the social commitment towards employees and clients. The ‘Fairtrade’ label is a well-known label for globally traded products. It shall help guarantee regulated working conditions are set in place, and help to ban discrimination and exploitative children’s work. Sustainable management systems commit companies to a continuous improvement process (CIP) and the control of a value creation processes.

Main benefits of social sustainability for SMEs

Within a company that has implemented social sustainability measures the following impact could be generated (inter alia):

  • Increased employee motivation and commitment to work and the company;
  • Better emotional bonds and identification with the company;
  • A good working atmosphere and increased feeling of well-being at work;
  • Lower staff fluctuation and a long-term, loyal interest in the company;
  • Increased rate of recommendations.

Main benefits of social sustainability for SMEs (II)

External effects which can be generated may be (inter alia):

  • Motivated teams do outstanding work;
  • Better positioning in the market and identification with the brand;
  • Higher credibility and authenticity;
  • Increased trust in the product or service;
  • Building a foundation of trust with the company’s clientele.
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