Mark Topley at the London Dentistry Show

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At the London Dentistry Show Mark Topley will explain why CSR is a responsibility, a benefit and a privilege

Mark Topley, The CSR Coach, will be speaking at the London Dentistry Show this September. He will be explaining why CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) has become so important for modern dental practices.

Consumer expectations around business and CSR have dramatically shifted. If the surveys are to be believed, these have become even more pronounced during the pandemic. A few years ago, people just wanted a product and they didn't really mind how it was produced. But nowadays people expect businesses to be ethical and sustainable during their normal business operations.

People also expect their dentist to demonstrate their care for the environment, to show that they care about people and that they're making a contribution to their community. People want more from all the businesses they buy from – including macro global companies and local SMEs – they want them to be responsible. The question is, how do dental practices implement CSR in a way that doesn't detract from running a business or delivering excellent patient care.

If it's done well, CSR is like a stick of rock – it runs throughout the entire business and its operations. It is a lens through which you can judge every business decision, as well as the additional activities such as charity partnerships and volunteering, and general environmental protocols etc.

A major challenge for dentists is that they’re first and foremost practitioners. Their heads are down while they treat patients, leaving less time to work on the business. And yet finding time is key to making CSR work. In taking your first steps in CSR, I would recommend downloading my '60-minute CSR plan’ (found at marktopley.co.uk) for a really straightforward guide on the topic.

It’s important to start with the three principal areas of CSR – people, environment and community – and focus on one area for each quarter. Write it down. Write what you plan to improve and how you're going to do it and make an appointment with yourself for three months’ time to see how it’s gone. The more you can do when starting with CSR, the easier it will be in the long-run.

The main benefits of CSR include team engagement. People want to work for a business that cares enough to make a difference. If you can align people's personal values and aspirations with what they do at work, they’ll see that they are working towards their life goals.

Whether they care about personal development, supporting the community or being part of a respected business, CSR awareness can have a massive impact on their job satisfaction and, in turn, their engagement. When businesses are purpose-driven and led responsibly, people love to go to work.

Running a successful business nowadays is not just about the bricks and mortar, it’s about the hearts and minds of the people that work for you and of the people you’re trying to attract. There's also advantages in terms of reputation with patients. Patients appreciate a dental practice they believe to be good for the area, good for the community and good for the environment.

If you’d like to know how you can enhance your CSR, I’ll be discussing the topic in detail at the London Dentistry Show this September. When CSR is done well, it feels good. There’s a real satisfaction in reaching the end of your day knowing that you’ve not only had a successful day commercially, but you’ve done so with respect for other people and the planet.

London Dentistry Show 2021
Friday 17th and Saturday 18th September
Olympia London
Register for free at www.londondentistryshow.co.uk