goBeyondProfit Research Clarifies Georgians’ Heightened Expectations and Offers Road Map for Business Response


Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Georgia-specific research confirms employee and consumer rising expectations – and propensity to act – based on how businesses speak out about issues and care for employees, community and environment. Business executive input reveals increasing business value and commitment to corporate character efforts, according to goBeyondProfit, a statewide alliance of CEOs which conducted the survey in March 2021. 

The research unveiled that employed Georgians (91%) and senior leaders (89%) alike expect executives to share their point of view about sensitive social issues. 96% of Georgia business leaders plan to maintain or increase their generous activities and 76% see heightened expectations as positive opportunity. 

This third annual report, titled “Navigating Rising Expectations,” can be found at https://gobeyondprofit.org/2021-navigating-rising-expectations-report/?utm_medium=web&utm_source=gaceo&utm_campaign=release. 

It provides Georgia specific insights into the complex dynamic, including when to speak about sensitive social issues, how to manage inevitable missteps, and which acts of empathy and compassion to prioritize for optimal community and business value.  

“Corporate generosity is no fad; its importance and business value soared through the global pandemic,” said goBeyondProfit President Megan McCamey. “Consumers and employees are more likely to act on this, and executives are embracing it, demonstrating more empathy and learning to speak out. The call is for leaders to express and execute against values, a leadership imperative we’ve called “Emotional Generosity.”

Heightened expectations are widespread

Most Georgians (83%) continue to think it’s important for the businesses in their lives to demonstrate generosity and community outreach and a full 67% expect more generosity since the events of 2020. Senior leaders (84%) agree they feel these increased expectations and the vast majority (90%) characterize this as a positive opportunity. 

Read about Georgians’ top priorities.

Bottom-line implications: consumer and employee actions also on the rise.  

A full 73% of consumers admit they have changed their purchasing behavior based on a company’s actions. And leaders should consider the implications of the fact that 41% of employees claim they left a company, pursued a new opportunity -- or perhaps more detrimentally – stayed but became a disgruntled employee. 

Find out about significant increases in employee and consumer preferences

The call to speak up about social issues comes with insights into missteps and forgiveness.

The research shows employees (91%) and senior leaders (89%) alike expect executives to share their point of view about sensitive social issues. Read more on managing missteps.

Commitment to generosity is holding: 96% plan to maintain or increase.

Nearly all executives (96%) plan to maintain or increase their generous activities and charitable efforts, with nearly half (49%) of executives intending to do more. These numbers have held essentially steady for three years, showing commitment to corporate generosity strategy is holding, even through pandemic and economic upheaval.

Learn how to invest where it matters most

The surveys were conducted between March 1-29, 2021 and included 298 senior executives (95% confidence level; error range of +/- 5.68%) and 605 employed Georgians 18+ years of age (95% confidence level; error range of +/- 3.98%.)

goBeyondProfit is a statewide alliance of business leaders committed to corporate generosity and improving people’s lives. Through peer insights and stories, members learn from one another and strengthen their ability to ensure stronger businesses and healthier communities. goBeyondProfit is a fully funded venture inviting every Georgia business to join at no cost.