The human element is critical in so many aspects of business. Two areas in the spotlight these days include technology implementation and sustainability campaigns.

Whether they are entrepreneurs or consumers, more and more people are looking to do something good around sustainability. For new business owners, there is a tension between short-term profits and long-term sustainability goals. Even though it extends out their break-even point, many feel like doing something to promote sustainability is the right thing to do.

Focusing on waste reduction, reuse or repurposing are lower impact business options for sustainability efforts.

Consumers certainly have a role to play in how a company embraces sustainability. Meeting consumer demand affects a company’s ability to remain competitive in the market. Still, the economic health of a company is important. Financial stability needs to be first and foremost in a business owner’s playbook, and it’s important to strike a balance if they want to remain in business. 

To incorporate sustainability into a company’s core values, you have to be strategic and intentional. The company’s vision should be shared with employees, and regular meetings are needed for management to focus. Employees should know what your company is about from their first day on the job. This is your opportunity to prioritize sustainability and set realistic expectations, keeping in mind that profit is important as well.

As we look to the future, sustainability efforts may become the normal course of life and business.

Also becoming routine are technology and innovation.

To prepare staff when any innovation is implemented, reassure people and encourage them to help you improve processes. Automation can give employees the “head space” to think ahead. Even if the content of their job may shift, tech provides them with an opportunity to improve their job and their work-life balance. In the case of AI, for instance, boring work can disappear. It is the responsibility of leadership to communicate this, not simply push the change process. Communication is critically important in business. Set a goal for a continuous conversation to inform and encourage everyone in the company. Employees should be assured of their irreplaceable “human” value in the face of AI.

The human element remains important in business and also wraps around the customer experience. When implementing tech, some processes need to remain hands-on for customers, particularly if the market is older and established. Some customers may not be ready to only do business digitally.

Get customer feedback on their experience with your company. Reach out if necessary. When something goes wrong, figure out what can be done better next time – and don’t rush to always blame it on the tech.

Choose your business partners wisely, because they can ultimately affect your relationship with your customers. You want to be a favorite partner for others to work with. The human element, again, is where you can make a difference.

Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 218 with guest Aad Storm “The Profitable Path to Sustainability”

Tune in to Bridging the Gap podcast episode 218 with guest Aad Storm, where the discussion ranges from sustainability’s profitable path to the whirlwind surrounding technology adoption.

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