In today’s world, social awareness can make or break a career. No matter your opinion on world events or social developments, not being aware of what is going on can dramatically limit the potential of your human resources department. The world is changing, and human resources must be conscious enough of the shift to not only prevent disaster, but also make timely resource decisions.
If your company is selling a product, the employees should do their best to avoid making products that run against ideas deemed offensive. This is not as simple as it appears. In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, significant movements may arise, and your company’s product or marketing may need to change to avoid being cast aside, or even worse, publicly ridiculed.
How do you begin to adapt to such changes in the marketplace? First, it’s important to recognize that not every social shift will be worth paying attention to. From the human resources angle, a political gaffe that becomes entangled with a social campaign requires little to no attention. However, other significant movements, especially in the area of hiring women and racial minorities, are worthy of attention. Social activists pay attention to how companies react to such movements, and human resources is an integral part of altering how the company is perceived should it be put under intense scrutiny.
Above all, being aware of social movements is not an easily executed task. Responding to a movement requires slow consideration of ethics and the company vision. It’s not wise to hire a new employee or make adjustments to resources based solely on hot topics. Instead, experience and tact is required.