Analyzing the Impact of a New Definition of Generosity

Once again, goBeyondProfit and Georgia CEO have explored business generosity in Georgia through concurrent surveys of employed adults and executives running businesses. When this study began in 2019, only 47% of employees said they considered business generosity important. Today, 96% of Georgians believe it’s important that their employer is not just good, but generous.

Business generosity is no longer simply a nice-to-have program; instead, it has become critical for retention, employee satisfaction, and financial success. In fact, the number of employees who feel business generosity is very or extremely important has grown to 81%, while in 2019, only a meager 20% held such a strong opinion. 

This year, we discovered an expanded definition of business generosity that is driving employees to action. This report offers clear, data-driven insights into the aspects of generosity that strengthen businesses, as well as the consequences of neglecting it.

We are pleased to bring you the 2024 goBeyondProfit Business Generosity Report.

Summary of Findings:

Business Generosity Redefined

We asked executives and employees and they told us the definition of business generosity has expanded. Traditionally, generosity meant charitable contributions and acts of service. In recent years, the definition necessarily expanded to include employee well-being, as well as a form of business generosity that permeates all aspects of business operations— from internal practices and purpose to product sourcing, vendor relationships, and consumer engagement.

This expanded definition has business implications for employees and consumers alike. Find out more here.

Generosity Drives Action

The importance of generosity is driving direct action from employees and consumers alike. In fact, 51% of Georgia’s employed adults have already left a job due to insufficient generosity toward employees. Nearly one-third (27%) left a job because of a lack of generosity in business operations and 28% left due to a lack of generosity to the community.

Employees across all age groups indicate they are willing to make sacrifices for a generous and high-quality work environment: 67% of employees say they currently are or would be willing to accept lower compensation to enhance their quality of life, and this figure climbs to 72% for employees under 35. Find out more here.

Closing the Disconnects: Investing in What Employees Truly Value

When asked to choose the single most important demonstration of generosity to them, employees, once again, chose flexible work (34%) and mental health support (18%).

The biggest gap between current business investment and what employees consider important lies in expanded maternal health support and childcare.

This is not simply a request from female employees—85% of all employees said expanded maternal health support is important and 58% said it is very important. In contrast, only 21% of executives say they currently offer this support, representing the largest decrease in investment year-over-year. Investment in childcare support shows a similar disconnect, with 83% of employees saying this is important, yet only 15% of executives currently offer childcare support. We explored the economic impacts of these disparities, as well as possible solutions.

In addition, we delved into employees’ top requests for generosity to the community and throughout business operations. For specifics on how different generations weighed in, see Talent Snapshot—Generosity by the Generations. Find out more here.

Perceived Threats to Company Culture: Politics and Flexibility

Flexible work remains the most important request from all employees (94%). But this leaves many executives wondering: Is it possible to sustain a positive company culture while also giving employees the flexibility they desire? The answer appears to lie in a hybrid approach that balances the need for flexibility with the importance of time in person. Our data finds that those who work a hybrid schedule gave their company culture the highest score (97%) and the fewest bad grades (3% poor or terrible). Meanwhile, those who work fully in the workplace are more likely to grade their company culture harshly.

A significant threat to company culture this year is politics. A remarkable 56% of executives, as well as 45% of employees, believe politics will disrupt the great strides companies are making, with 1-in-10 saying politics will be very disruptive.

Since a resounding 95% of employed adults say a positive company culture is an important aspect of business generosity, we offer specifics around how to build trust and move a company culture from good to great.

Financial Rewards: It’s Not Just the Right Thing to Do

This year’s data reveals that an outstanding 92% of executives remain committed to generosity investments, with a noteworthy 60% planning to increase generosity to employees and nearly half (45-46%) planning to increase generosity in business operations and the community.

Executives shared that this is not simply because it is the right thing to do—they cited a direct link between generosity and improved employee satisfaction and financial benefits. Find out more here.

In this year’s survey, we compared the trends in Georgia with those nationally. In nearly all cases, Georgia’s employees were aligned with national employees concerning the importance of generosity, including how it is defined and what they are willing to do if they do not see it in the companies they work for.

Regardless of where a business operates, it is important to note that generosity matters and employees everywhere are willing to walk away if they do not see it.

Explore further insights:

In Partnership with