What if I told you there was a way your business could be ten times more profitable? Would I have your full attention? What if I told you that you could not only earn this extra money, but also feel more fulfilled at your job and have a team of happier employees? Now I know I’d have your full attention.
This isn’t some sell-your-soul business strategy or another pipedream falsely promising a business-like utopia. What I’m saying is possible, and it’s already a reality for many companies. You just need to be good and do well.
Sounds a lot like corporate social responsibility, right? It’s not, because traditional CSR initiatives can be tacked onto existing business models. I’m proposing to take corporate social responsibility to a new level by demanding an entirely new business model, one that is guided by passion, purpose, and conviction. In this model, business owners must think beyond themselves and their wallets and focus on nurturing a value-based company, maximizing its impact, and manifesting greater citizen awareness and participation.
Enter the conscious capitalist.
I suspect you’re thinking that conscious capitalism sounds like quite the oxymoron. Whatever your beliefs are about capitalism, its negative stigma is undeniable. The capitalist system has become so powerful that it may seem more valuable than our own health and happiness, or even humanity in general.
In 2018, 42 people held the same amount of money as 3.7 billion of the world’s poorest citizens. In the United States alone, 175 million people face unemployment this year, and that number continues to skyrocket i due to COVID-19. Around 63 percent of Americans don’t even have enough in their savings to pay for unexpected costs like a major car repair or a one-night stay in the ER. Sadly, I could go on, but you get the point.
We are currently at a fork in the road. Do we course-correct our current path, or do we continue to choose our unsustainable way of life? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to continue watching our world try to survive under our current state of capitalism. It’s time we act and choose purpose over our own profits.
Here is what businesses could look like under conscious capitalism.
Make profits secondary to purpose and you’ll be more profitable
Sounds too good to be true, I know. Too many entrepreneurs believe that success is possible only by coming into an industry swinging. This misguided belief isn’t entirely their fault, since so many articles place cut-throat entrepreneurs on a pedestal. They frame survival as impossible unless you’re willing to play a little dirty. But playing dirty isn’t the way to create a lasting legacy.
Quite the opposite. As far back as 2013, extensive data has proven that conscious capitalists perform ten times better than their competitors, even when their competitors were giant corporations. The world doesn’t want ruthless, unforgiving leaders. They want authentic visionaries whose primary focus is making the world a better place, regardless of whether they do so through their products, services, or charitable efforts.
Giving back – in whatever form is right for your company – will give you a competitive advantage. Giving back is more meaningful than your profit margins. By focusing on your community, you create a loyal customer base that isn’t a temporary byproduct of initiatives like aggressive marketing campaigns. Instead, loyal customers will come naturally.
Consumers want to engage with companies that prioritize improving social, economic, or environmental conditions. 66 percent of people are even willing to pay more from a company that supports an important cause than they would pay from its competitors. Writer and marketing consultant Kelly Diels’ describes this as “tiny acts of doing-it-differently”.
When you focus on others, profits will be a byproduct of your purposeful mission.
Creating a conscious culture
Infusing passion and purpose into your daily work will trigger incredible attributes, not only for you, but your entire organization.
Instead of working tirelessly and exclusively towards a profit, you will become a leader who works to achieve personal fulfillment in your job. The same will happen for your employees. By giving your workers a sense of purpose beyond making money for you, your organization will blossom. But if instead cause your employees to feel they’re working under your thumb every day solely to turn a profit for you, you’re suffocating your company’s culture.
And we already know what happens when your culture suffers — it brings your employees down and your bottom line down with them. In his book Alive at Work, the Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do, Daniel M. Cable says that “when people work under these conditions, they become cautious, anxious, and wary. Over time, they begin to believe that their current state is unchangeable, and they disengage from work.”
As a business owner and leader, you should avoid triggering such disengagement at all costs.
If you think your company is immune from employee dissatisfaction, you’re either not paying attention to your workforce or biding your time until it occurs. The quit rate is the highest today than it’s been in 15 years, primarily because more and more employees feel increasingly disengaged at work. Your team wants to feel like they are working towards something bigger you’re your bottom line. They will find that missing something if your company becomes socially conscious. Conscious capitalism will breed loyalty and creativity in your workforce, adding value to your company’s mission.
One study showed that the employee turnover rate was lowered by 57 percent when workers felt more connected to a company’s civic and charitable efforts. Since it costs around $15,000 for every employee you have to replace, reducing your turnover rate is critically important.
True sustainability is dependent on conscious capitalism, and the impact of companies that practice conscious capitalism is long-lasting. Not only do their products or services fulfill needs in the marketplace, but their social efforts will fill needs in a world uplifted by the good deeds of others.
I’ll conclude with a quote from Drew Kossoff, the CEO of Rainmaker Ad Ventures: “These types of returns, more than money, often provide that ‘missing link’ to greater happiness, success, and fulfillment at work — which is ultimately what we all really want.”
This article was originally posted by CEO World Magazine.