Have companies forgotten that people care about their doctors’ working hours? That they care about the people who make their cotton sheets? That they care whether employees are being underpaid?
Deliveroo’s recent riders’ pay PR nightmare has been talked about. A lot. And yet even though it has already affected investors’ interest, no one has mentioned how it might affect the sustainability of their business.

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Two ways to invest in startup sustainability: 

Human evolution

As our need for flexibility grows, the gig economy looks increasingly attractive. It continues to change the very definition of employees. Employers now have to inspire people they’ll never meet, to advocate their brand and its values. So why are great innovators constantly improving in every area except this one?

Some things logistics can’t buy

Think about Amazon, Uber and Alibaba. They’re all hailed for logistics models that allow them to straddle industries, squashing competitors with big piles of cash and established brands. But has anyone thought about the people (not just customers) involved?
When applied to a company’s culture, people-centred thinking, particularly when it is core to your offering (delivery people are the first point of human connection for Deliveroo) has the power to align everything from product innovation to customer experience and to drive growth. 
It doesn’t look great for Deliveroo. If they don’t learn from this and think beyond logistics, the impact on the brand could be lasting. 
If you want to future proof your business, you need to understand that people are behind everything it relies on: markets, trends, innovation, demand and supply. These people aren’t just your customers: they’re your suppliers, partners, colleagues and employees. Because nobody just buys products or services, they buy into them. It’s not just minds that need to be won but hearts too.

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