This is the question we were challenged to ask ourselves by Bill Huxley, CEO of The charity Business Against Poverty we recently joined.
This question made us stop and think, really evaluate the reasons we're in business from a new perspective. Or indeed why anyone goes to work and does the job they do. There's much more to work than earning money and all the 'other' reasons we work can really influence the performance of employees.
The money we earn helps us provide for our family’s needs or the things our hearts desire, from cars and holidays to clothes and days out. Work can also provide a sense of belonging, a sense of pride, commitment and fulfilment. So surely something about the work we do and the companies we work for must drive these feelings?
When it comes to recruitment the answer is simple really, and as we took the time to reflect on the last eleven years of running a recruitment and training business together, we realised just how many lives we have had the privilege to help shape. Because as recruiters, we literally have the ability to change people's lives by helping them find the right job.
We recalled many stories over the years from a man and his family who were living in a tent who we helped retrain in a new career, gaining his loyalty for many years’ service to our company. As the years rolled by, we quietly watched a family rebuild their lives by moving back into a house and were later invited to their wedding.
On another occasion we helped a candidate who felt trapped into a job working weekends, way too many hours on minimum wage, commuting around twelve miles away from home using the only family car, leaving an isolated wife and children missing him dearly. We found him work less than one mile from home so he could walk to work and leave the car for his wife. The new job excluded weekends, paid far more generously, so he had more time to spend with his family as well as a bit more cash for days out and DIY for the house.
There are many other life changing stories we can think of including a deaf candidate we matched with a client who would communicate by text and a homeless man we reunited with long lost family through work. The point is, this time to reflect on the question asked: 'Am I here to serve my business, or is my business here to serve me?' made us realise just how much we love serving our business and what a privilege it is to help change people's lives through new job opportunities.
As employers, we believe it's vital for us to think about the impact we have on our employees and the way in which we serve them, because ultimately this determines the way in which they will serve us and the business they work for.
For more information on Business Against Poverty or to challenge yourself to their Corporate Social Responsibility code of ethics, sign up as a sponsor here: http://www.businessagainstpoverty.com