It’s no secret that here at Beekeeper we believe that strong employee engagement is the key to unlocking a more productive, efficient, and profitable workforce. And now corporate America agrees. Employee engagement is pretty important. Even more important than shareholder value or profit (gasp!).
It’s true. In a recent Business Roundtable, a group of almost 200 executives from some of the world’s biggest companies just had a groundbreaking meeting. In it, they literally rewrote the definition of “the purpose of a corporation.”
What Is the Business Roundtable?
Business Roundtable is essentially a group of executives from some of the most powerful companies in the world. Its stated mission is to “promote a thriving U.S. economy and expand opportunities for all Americans through sound public policies.”
They represent CEOs of America’s leading companies. These CEO members lead companies with more than 15 million employees and more than $7 trillion in annual revenue.
As major employers in every state, Business Roundtable CEOs take seriously the responsibility of creating quality jobs with good wages. These leaders join with communities, workers and policymakers to build a better future for the nation and its people.
What’s so surprising about their new definition is that it redefines the basic function of a for-profit business — making money and providing value to shareholders. In its stead is a commitment to the following initiatives:
- Invest in employees
- Deliver real value to customers
- Practice ethical sourcing
- Support local communities
Corporate America’s New Progressive Promise
The newly written Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation outlines five key commitments that corporate America will make to the public. They include:
- Delivering value to customers
- Investing in employees – specifically in the form of fair compensation, benefits, job skills training, and supporting diversity and inclusion
- Dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers
- Supporting local communities
- Generating long-term value for shareholders through innovation and transparency
Why This Commitment to Internal Engagement Is a Big Deal
This is the first time in history that the Business Roundtable has prioritized investing in their employees over making a profit. Ever. Aside from the fact that it’s really just the right thing to do, the decision to commit to their employees isn’t entirely philanthropic.
Countless studies have shown that there are very real, very measurable benefits to employee engagement.
Here are just a few:
- Higher retention and decreased turnover means huge savings in employee recruitment and onboarding
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Safer working conditions
- Improved internal communication
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher profitability