By John Arenas | May 1, 2014

Good Will is Good Business

Neither customers nor employees favor an exclusive, singular focus on the bottom line.

Over the last couple decades, studies have shown a decline in the public’s trust of large corporations as profits soar. People normally tend to assume that if a company is making the big bucks, they’re probably keeping it all to themselves. However, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, during the last two years, that lack in trust has decreased, and even reversed course.

So what does this mean? This shift in perception offers big businesses a great opportunity to prove themselves worthy to the public. In other words, now is their time to shine.

The trend of adding some sort of corporate social responsibility to a company’s mission has been going on for years, but finally, companies are stepping up and fulfilling that part of the mission. Recently, Fast Company named the “10 Most Innovative Companies Dedicated to Social Good”. That list includes, but is not limited to companies like, Nike, Patagonia, Tesla and SolarCity.

These companies represent the variety of possibilities that can stem from a social responsibility campaign. They prove it’s not just about giving money to charities, but also about getting your customers and stakeholders involved and letting them make a difference. By finding out what truly matters to customers and stakeholders, companies are more likely to roll out a campaign that will result in a profit increase. Of course, many will argue that the point of doing social good shouldn’t be a means to increase profits—but it certainly can’t hurt, right? In addition, many corporations are more likely to instill a culture of good will if eventual prosperity is hanging in the balance.

Today’s big businesses are seeing more value in gaining a foothold between monetary success and social recognition. We’re moving from a business world where money was all that mattered, to one where CEOs want more sustainable recognition. And technically, they need to bring more to the table if they want to reach their utmost potential.

The key to a successful social responsibility campaign is flexibility. Just because one plan is right for one company doesn’t mean it will work for another. Finding a cause that is important to both employees and stakeholders will help company’s foster good will that is genuine.

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