Let’s Get Personal

For those who are celebrating: Merry Christmas from HWW!

Times of national and even global religious celebration and festivity are often centred on your immediate family and friends, and it is wonderful to have time with those you love; but it can also be a time that makes you think about the bigger picture. The world is a big place, so it is easy to imagine that as an individual you might not have much impact. Your actions often influence the people closest to you, but the ripple affect can sometimes extends much further than you may imagine.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an area of business practise that has been around for a while now, and which is continuing to develop in companies of all sizes. This is a great step forward in corporate ethics and policy, but on an individual level it sometimes misses the mark.

That is where Personal Social Responsibility (PSR) comes in as a tool for workers at all levels to contribute to the world around them, locally and globally. PSR plans are a great way for those that are freelance workers or that are self-employed to contribute to the greater good. They can also empower you to address the areas of your own work life that you may be finding unsatisfactory.

Personal responsibility is about taking ownership of your work/life choices and understanding your accountability in the workplace – whether that is in an office or in your own home. It can be difficult to belief that your actions as an individual can be particularly impactful, but quote from Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, may help put this into perspective for you:
“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”

PSR action plans can range from complex & detailed to quite simple, but the aim is to be the change that you want to see. Some general tips for personal responsibility, at work and in your personal life, are:

– Reduce the negativity you might add to your environment e.g. gossiping at the office, responding unconstructively to emails
– Ensure your daily decisions and actions are in line with your own values
– Visualise contributing positively every day e.g. assist a colleague with a task, smile at a stranger

Personal responsibility is the freedom to create our own lives, and social responsibility comes when we realise that our actions have consequences beyond us. The theme of our next conference is ‘Be the Change’, so with that in mind, empower yourself to be the change that you want to see. By taking control of our choices, professionally and personally, we can all make a positively impact on the world around us and improve our own happiness and wellbeing at the same time.

by Alexandra Langston