Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Inclusivity of Business and Well-Being

BUSINESS operates on the basic premise of interdependence between enterprise and society.  Their isolation kills the very foundational spirit of business. State plays a role of facilitator in order to assure that the interdependence is well respected and maintained.  Even when we follow laissez faire or operate in free trade environment, exploitation of users of products and services has to be monitored and controlled.  Irrespective of model of development and geographies of operation, this has been the hallmark in sustaining business growth and building great enterprises.

At individual level, well-being is a state in which a person feels good about one’s life.  It is a reflection on past experience observed through satisfaction, on having good conditions of life at present and having positive outlook towards future. At larger level, human well-being reflects on general satisfaction of all individuals with their health, education, relationships, environment, governance, and products and services they use.

Business which is run by and for the individuals has to think about the well-being of people involved at all levels.  Internally it is for employees and externally it is customers and society.  The conditions of work within the organization have to be developed in such a way that work itself becomes fun and the morale of employees is boosted through different initiatives for incentivizing their performance.  Monetary as well as non-monetary rewards have to be linked with work efforts and performance in such a way that the employees derive sense of satisfaction at the work place.  The popular belief that only satisfied employees can get satisfied customers has to be practiced for better well-being of employees from all work related activities. In the current times retaining better talent has become much greater challenge than acquiring talent. So strategies have to be designed in such a way that attrition is reduced and loyalty is maintained or improved.

Respect for individual creativity and an environment of fostering innovation within the organization should be developed and maintained to stay relevant and to avoid sense of monotony and obsolescence. Sense of complacency among employees should not be allowed to be developed and challenging work through putting achievable targets should be encouraged.  This creates positivity among the employees which gets its reflection through new and innovative products and services. Organizations like Google, MakeMyTrip, Jubilant Foodworks, Flipkart, etc have demonstrated unique practices to manage their workforce.

It is generally observed that great business organizations have survived all ups and downs in market, policy, polity and in customer expectations. Their inclusive thinking has made them achieve greater heights through excellent performances.  Business groups like Tata, Birla, Mahindra and organizations like Infosys, Wipro, L&T, HCL, HUL, ITC, etc have responded to the call of well-being through their products and services apart from sharing social responsibility with the state. Their allocations and expenditure for improving quality of life of people in general is remarkable. Multinational corporations like Merck, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, etc are spending hugely on improving human well-being through their business models.

So how can a business isolate it from thinking about human well-being. That is where we need to project business and well-being as inclusive entities. This has to be the made part of organizational thinking and accordingly strategies have to be designed to stay focused for sustaining its existence by being relevant in all times.  State policies for creation and distribution of wealth have to guarantee improvement in the well-being of people. Organizations have to organize their business activities around the greater cause of creation of wealth and providing satisfaction to the users of products and services.

The products and services have to be designed, developed and delivered in such a way that the general human well-being is assured. Improving conditions of quality of life of all people involved in the process from inception to its operation, from production to its ultimate use has to be prioritized for developing a successful business model which can help organizations to look beyond just financial returns.

Business and well-being have to coexist for better future of our nation. We are an inclusive society and business is run not just to earn profits but to play proactive role in sharing responsibilities of the state as well.  More so when we are part of collectivist society where pluralistic values are respected.  So the business of running the business cannot be just to create profitable ventures but it has to be to focus on well-being of people involved at all levels as well.
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