Doing Well or Doing Good?
Is your company doing well or doing good? It’s not a grammar question, but one that strikes at the heart of company performance and culture, and for many in our industry the answer is yes to both.
The July issue of our Bottom Line member magazine features an upbeat story about the many ways in which printing, mailing, and marketing companies are “doing good” by giving back to charitable causes in their local and extended communities. Mailer’s Choice in Nashville, Tenn., for example, supports a wide variety of charities and local groups, ranging from the Heart Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Toys for Tots to Ronald McDonald House, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Second Harvest Food Bank, among others.
Several other industry are profiled, showing their support for charities as diverse as Cribs for Kids, which helps parents prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (North American Communications, Inc., Duncansville, Pa.), and the Puppy Up Walk! Event, which raises money to support research into the link between cancer in canines and humans (Classic Graphics, Charlotte, N.C.).
Although these companies are in different parts of the country and dissimilar in size and services, each appears to share two common characteristics: Management’s belief that supporting charitable causes is “the right thing to do” and its willingness to enthusiastically back up its employees’ individual and group commitment to helping organizations that make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Yes, supporting charitable activities can result in positive publicity benefits to a company, but for most in our industry this is usually a secondary outcome and seldom a motivation. Our companies have developed a strong bond with their customers and their communities and they view good company citizenship as part of the trust that they have established with both.
Management in these companies has also developed a strong bond with its employees and views support of those causes employees care about as part of the partnership that has been forged with its staff. And it is a partnership that is strengthened through management’s recognition of the importance employees place in helping their communities and its commitment to provide time, resources, and encouragement to enable them to help even more.
Does it add to the bottom line? Maybe not demonstrably in a P&L statement sort of way, but certainly in terms of a more upbeat, cohesive, and team-spirited workplace, a sense of unity among workers and management, and a belief among employees that a company’s core values align with theirs and are not just words shown on the company’s website, but convictions lived out in a real and tangible way.
These companies and their employees are doing well and they’re doing good. Is there a link? You be the judge.