The changing face of business is building momentum globally, such as in the growth of B Corps. These businesses are certified using a holistic set of tools designed to measure impact on people, the planet and profits through scores achieved on environment, workers, customers, community and governance.
There are currently 80 Certified B Corps in Australia, with more than 800 working through the assessment process and 1,452 certified B Corps globally. The span covers more than 100 industries and over 40 countries. Their one unifying goal is to re-define success in business and to use business as a broader force for good.
Rather than trading off profits for purpose and mission, these B Corps are thriving. Their integrity, values and commitment to walking the talk gives them the advantage of attracting and retaining talent and customer loyalty as well as building better supplier and community relationships and overall goodwill towards their businesses.
The ability to attract and retain the right talent and to achieve employee engagement is crucial to business wellbeing and success. The flow-on effects of getting this right impact improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, sales, profitability, shareholder return and business growth.
Gallup poll studies in January 2014 found that only 13% of employees worldwide were deemed to be engaged in their work, in September 2015 polls indicated that only 32% of US employees were engaged in their work. While Australia seems to have one of the highest engagement rates in the world, at around 60%, as measured in December 2013, this still leaves a lot of room for improvement. So what is going on in the world of business?
The four key things people want from a job are growth, happiness, meaning and significance.
Increasingly, people want to be congruent with their purpose and to work for mission-driven organisations. This is becoming more pronounced than ever before, with more Millenials being motivated by mission and voting with their feet when it comes to choosing to stay or leave a job, based on how well it meets their need for growth, happiness, meaning and significance.
Humanity positive businesses appeal to people’s sense of mission and meaning – the WHY beyond what they do. Happy, engaged employees are more productive and create a positive ripple effect. The beauty of this for businesses such as B Corps is that people are attracted to working with them and business founders and leaders are passionate, proud and energised by their work and the difference they are making. If there can be a win-win for the environment, employees, customers, community and governance, along with achievement of commercial success, as demonstrated by the growing success of these businesses, then why aren’t more businesses embracing this brave new business model?
In another 15 years’ time, we may well wonder why the number of people + planet + governance certified, or humanity-positive businesses were still at such low levels in 2015, and companies were still primarily accountable to shareholders, while environmental, global and social crises were seen to be someone else’s problem. What would have been possible if in 2015 more companies had been inspired by a more global-centric vision and a humanity plus mission and had created a culture of a happier, more engaged, purpose driven workforce and business community?
Contact me to discuss how you can design a life and career that is happier, more engaged and purpose driven.