If you’re sick of an office that only measures one metric of success – profits, while ignoring everything else, you’re far from alone. Socially responsible companies are everywhere today.
In fact, the “new way” to do business is fast becoming the way to do business, and with good reason. Not only do these companies do good, they often outperform companies that do business in the old way.
First, let’s talk about what a socially responsible company is.
Socially Responsible Companies: A Definition
Basically, a business is considered socially responsible when it focuses on initiatives that have a benefit for people or the environment.
You might see several different types of corporate social responsibility programs:
Charity: Some socially responsible companies focus on giving back to the community or to a cause. This might be donations to that cause or cause marketing, where the donations to the cause are designed to market the business in addition to raising money for the cause.
Environmental: Some socially responsible companies have strict environmental standards, whether it’s around pollution, food grades or something else.
Employees: Some socially responsible companies are noted for how well they treat their employees, both in the U.S. and overseas.
Volunteering: Some socially responsible companies have volunteer events where they volunteer time, effort, or knowledge for a cause.
These companies also might focus on what is known as the Triple Bottom Line. This means instead of just focusing on finances, the company also focuses on people and the environment. More recently, a fourth line has been added which represents sustainability and how the company’s actions impact future generations.
Why People Work for Socially Responsible Companies
If you are looking for a job that is more than just a job, a socially responsible company may be for you.
For so long, companies that focused only on profits forced people to compartmentalize themselves and not care about anything else. As an employee, you’re forced to do the same to survive.
But as a real person, especially the creative, people-oriented person you are, you do see the consequences of a company’s actions. You also don’t want to spend all of your days pursuing goals that don’t feel particularly significant to you.
Companies with more substance can give you the meaning and impact you desire in a workplace, while still offering a salary that is competitive (and sometimes more than) other salaries in their markets.
If you’re not ready to jump into non-profits, but you still want to make an impact and do good work, socially responsible companies might be a good fit for you.
Where to Look for Socially Responsible Companies
If you’re convinced that a socially responsible company is a good choice for you, where do you look to find one?
There are several places you might start. Here are some of them.
Game Changers 500:
Game Changers 500 was created to be an alternate model to the Fortune 500 – companies that are ranked based on revenue. Instead, the Game Changers 500 are companies that are for-benefit and for-profit. This organization is hoping to tip the scales and create a critical mass of businesses that commit to for benefit practices. You can search their list of companies here.
A B-Corp is a business certification (like certified organic), that says that a company has met the standards required for social and environmental performance. The B-Corp certification has been given to companies across 120 different industries. You can search for a B-Corp company here, or search their job board here.
In exchange for your email address, you can download a report of the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world from Corporate Knights.
Really want to do your research? Check out this investment specialist focused on sustainability investing. It’s their job to find and report on the most sustainable companies.
Firms of Endearment
The Firms of Endearment are a set of companies based on new rules of business (socially responsible ones), that have outperformed traditional companies financially, by a large margin. There is a book by the same title and you can read all about it. You can also go and work at one of the companies if you choose!
Socially Responsible Companies Win!
It’s time to follow your head and your heart and move from your company doing business the old, dying way and into a company doing business the holistic way.
You’ll be happier at one of these companies, as long as it aligns with your goals, values and motivations.
You’ll likely also find that you’ll do better financially at a socially responsible company as well, because these companies have outperformed their competitors on average.
Socially responsible companies do win, and you can too.