In the past, when people looked at a company, their impact on daily life was very important. Was the product essential? Could I afford it? Was there a better option on the market, perhaps for a lower price? As times have changed and the world has become hyper-connected and far more informed about the events and people in other parts of the globe, individuals have become far more aware of their impact on the planet and the other people living here. This is evident in the green revolution that has occurred in so many nations around the world, as we seek to protect our environment more and more each year. An inherent social responsibility has also impacted our consumer habits, and we are far more likely to contribute to and support companies that we feel are in line with our own belief systems. Helping people, protecting the environment, and bettering the lives of others less fortunate have become common sentiments that consumers want to represent both in their lives, and in the companies they support.
To build a happy company, this undeniable fact has to be taken into consideration. Businesses that still operate in a greedy, self-serving, or ignorant way are less likely to gain popular favor. They will see their business fall, as other, more socially conscious companies rise to the forefront. GE is one of the largest and most influential companies on the planet, and they have responded to the demands of social pressure and changing attitudes in an exceptional way. They participate in dozens of essential industries, and are constantly trying to innovate and find new solutions for old problems, as a way to improve life on earth, while also protecting it. The employees at GE are invested and dedicated because they believe in what they are doing. They are proud to represent a company that maintains a workforce of more than 300,000 people in a respectful and socially conscious way in certain markets where profit is still king. They attract new talent from up and coming generations of socially conscious youth, because those people have grown up with and trusted the brand. Going to work and feeling good about the job you are doing is an easily overlooked, but vital, component of company happiness.
The contributions that GE has made to the world are innumerable, but they have done it with tact, respect, and a quiet confidence that they will be on the right side of history. Establishing your company as a socially responsible entity that actually gives back and benefits people, rather than simply craving profit and market shares is a fundamental principle of company happiness.
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by Can Akdeniz [Best Business Books]