Social Responsibility

09 July, 2018

Investopedia defines “Social Responsibility” as a balance between profit-making activities and activities that benefit the society in which they operate. A company acting upon its social responsibility duties will be philanthropic, promote volunteering, and take the environment into consideration. In addition, ethical practices towards the company’s employees are considered a main aspect of social responsibility. In case of limited or absent employee protection laws, social responsibility becomes the main ethical compass when dealing with the company’s main asset, its People.

As a visionary, who has high stakes in operating socially responsible in Jordan, I have to consider how my business will fit that bill. Philanthropy, while an important cornerstone of our culture, is not the main area of my current concern when thinking of entrepreneurship in Jordan. However, as volunteering and environmental considerations are not the common norm in Jordan, both aspects have to be considerably taken into account when trying to find not yet implemented business practices to stand out of the crowd.

Although not common norm, volunteering and environmental aspects have been put in the spotlight in more recent endeavors in Jordan. Initiatives like “Little Volunteer”, who aim to integrate the concept of volunteering into our society by involving children from young age, are change agents our society is in need of.

The Jordan Green Building Council is another example of how Jordan is becoming a hub for initiatives to support and enhance the awareness towards environmental issues. The GBC Jordan is member based and specializes in the building sector, a very important sector in Jordan. (

In my opinion, differentiation and up-scaling in the Jordanian market today has to come hand in hand with aforementioned aspects. Yet, my main concern and enthusiasm lies with the people of Jordan, especially those who don’t have the means, be it monetary or educationally, to fit into the lucrative, incentive filled, and secured employment market. That market involves the range of vocational professions which includes plumbers, electricians, painters, construction workers, and any related vocational field. Said professions have undergone major shifting in many aspects as educational background, perception on worth of job, and income scale. However, until this day there are no real opportunities for graduates of vocational professions to become part of a regulated market segment. According to the Vocational Training Center in Amman, almost 190,000 yearly graduates find their employment dependent on aspects as: – word to mouth recommendations, which are hard to receive when new in the market; – the mercy of workshop owners, who pay way beyond legal minimum wage; – or under-paid day to day employment, which is an unsustainable means of monthly income. 

Of course, many other unmentioned, yet as well unfair opportunities exist; but all lack social responsibility towards vocational professionals.

In an attempt to study the market of vocational professionals my team and I have surveyed around 800 Jordanian citizens from Amman, Irbid, Zarqa, and Al Balqaa. Unsurprisingly, 95% agree that vocational professions are an important sector of the Jordanian market. Nonetheless, this importance is not reflected in the quality of the service rendered, the educational level, or in the image of our Jordanian vocational professionals. 54% are unsatisfied with the quality of service offered, 55% are unsatisfied with the educational level, and 61% are unsatisfied with the appearance and etiquette of Jordanian vocational professionals.

Pitching the idea that vocational professionals deserve a chance to be treated ethically, which includes a wide range of benefits within a company, continuous training opportunities, and a personal approach that defies the common norm that vocational professionals are a very difficult to deal with segment within our community, has been very challenging to say the least. The main argument we have heard in regards to the difficulty of dealing with said segment was almost always the same: Vocational professionals need a tough hand and approach to yield only some of the results a company might be looking for.

The mere fact to treat people tough or anything less of respect according to their profession is a notion I have trouble accepting and will prove wrong. In my quest to understand and research the field of employee efficiency and productivity I came along tons of research, which all verifies and attests that a successful, sustainable company with a healthy culture is defined by how it treats its people, all of them! There are no differences whether you work as a janitor or an executive in the same company; you are treated as a person who deserves the same amount of respect.

Do you agree?