Consumer behavior worldwide is reinforcing the importance of responsible business practices and now more than ever before, a brand’s social image is impacting purchasing decisions. According to a study by Nielsen, 55 percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to spend more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and positive environmental impact.
Consumers are judging companies based on what they do and how they treat people and our planet, and the most profitable brands are adding value to the lives of others. Business leaders must instill values into the company’s core culture that balance the 3 P’s: People, Planet and Prosperity—the triple bottom line. Here are five ways for every business to do exactly that.
1. People: Re-shift Your Focus
Leadership has to be willing to change and adapt in order to meet the demands of the future. First and foremost, business leaders must take responsibility for their current roles in the environment and the way they treat others.
After a company assesses its environmental footprint, then business models, processes and strategies can begin to integrate the triple bottom line and take the business in a new direction. While it may take some investment on your part—even bringing in new leaders to champion the pivot—businesses that truly thrive are the ones that take a step back and make the necessary changes.
2. Ensure You’re Making a Positive Impact on our Planet
Prosperous leaders strive to build thriving, sustainable companies that have minimal negative impact on the environment. At Valeo, we are building smarter, more sustainable structures to house our operations. We have done this by creating an initiative within our company called SPEED, or Special Projects in Energy Efficient Design. This encompasses not only the building itself, but what suppliers we use and how they contribute to our goal of becoming a net zero energy user through reducing usage and self-generation.
3. Invest in Your Team
Once you realize that your team is your best resource, you’ll have a more solid company and competitive advantage in your industry. Companies who develop and invest in team members show much higher retention rates, job satisfaction and overall prosperity.
In fact, Entrepreneur reported that actively disengaged workers cost businesses in America $450 million in 2013. We believe successful investment strategies show team members they’re valued, appreciated and a part of something bigger than themselves. When employees feel supported, they’re more engaged, accountable and loyal—all characteristics of a great team.
4. Demonstrate Your Purpose
Your purpose is your why; the emotional connection to what you’re doing. In my experience, businesses with a purpose make a difference and tend to make more money.
As a leader, you must commit to your purpose and make it real. Display it, embody it and embed it within your company because people will buy into the leader first and then the leader’s vision. When your employees share your vision, it will show in their work and your business will thrive. Demonstrate your purpose daily and prosperity will follow.
5. Work to Improve Those Around You
Leaders must acknowledge business is an intrinsic part of society, and everyone can and should work to help the people around us. At Valeo Groupe, as well as our holding company, we believe that prosperity is not only the profit you create for your investors and stakeholders, but also how you impact your team’s lives. We always search for ways to improve the prosperity for all who come into contact with us—whether they are a subcontractor or a team member.
At the end of the day, the most profitable and high-performing companies have society and people at their core purpose. These are the companies that will continue to flourish as more importance is placed on maintaining loyalty with businesses that put people and the planet first.
Ted W. Rollins, Co-Chairman and Founding Principal of Valeo Groupe, is a seasoned real estate entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in real estate investment banking, development, structured finance, start-up businesses and construction. He is focused on niche opportunity investing in both real estate and financial service sectors, particularly those that balance economic, environmental and social outcomes. Check out Ted’s work on Good Men Project and connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.