STUDY: Companies That ‘Do Good’ Also Do Well

Positive attitudes lead to more referrals.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is so buzz-worthy that we’ve heard people outside the PR industry use it. In fact, we hear that real pros call it “community relations.”

But what effect does an effort to focus on “doing good” actually have on business itself?

As it turns out, socially-driven companies — businesses that focus on their people and are built around positively contributing to society — are not only doing good; they’re doing well.

This is according to a recent survey of small businesses conducted by The Alternative Board (TAB), which showed that companies identified as “socially driven” have more optimistic outlooks on their future, represent stronger personal visions, and actually perform better than their competitors in the market.

Here’s an infographic that breaks down the specifics:

TAB-Infographic-Socially-Driven-Companies_0

Yes, these answers came from the businesses themselves, so they must be taken with a grain of free trade sea salt. But the survey’s organizers think they’re onto something.

How does all this positivity translate into success?

“Socially-driven companies seem to place an increased importance on human connections and relations,” said TAB vice president David Scarola. “A clear personal vision is an excellent motivator for success—especially when shared with others…By aligning their vision with their people, socially-driven business owners are held further accountable to their goals.”

And when employees, stakeholders, and customers feel good about a company’s goals and follow-through, they refer others. That’s the key.

Bill Paolillo, franchise owner and author of The Glass Company, explained:

“What we found was the company’s growth came from referrals by their customers, employees and suppliers. Companies for good recognize their customers are a bridge for their message—a means for broad dissemination enabled by the Internet.”

So, really, it boils down to a fairly simple equation: a positive vision, when partnered with accountability and follow-through, results in happy people; happy people, when partnered with social media and the Internet, result in an exponentially-spreading positive message, leading to growth.

Executives get it:

“80% of survey respondents wish they spent more time developing customer relationships than developing new products and services.”

Good businesses rewarded with good business marks a trend worth celebrating.