While profits are easy to estimate, prosperity is not amenable to simple calculation because of the intangible nature of its components. Prosperity is also a subjective concept and can vary from individual to individual and from organization to organization. It is true that organizations do business for commercial purposes but those that give importance to just profits and financial gain do not do well in the long run.

Profit is a financial benefit or reward that accrues to entrepreneurs and to organizations when the returns that they get from their business exceed the cost of doing the business. Profits are used as a measure of success of the business. Profits are financial in nature, they represent financial gain.

Lot more than just financial welfare

Prosperity includes wealth but it consists of a lot more than just financial welfare. These other factors that comprise prosperity need not be linked to money or finances – they comprise factors like happiness, satisfaction, health and well-being.

Research has shown that while many companies are growing in terms of sales and profits, the wages and salaries of their employees is not rising in the same proportion. In fact in many countries wages are falling in spite of companies doing well, or better, in financial terms. Employees are unhappy and are disengaged at the work-place. Companies are finding it difficult to hold on to their people. Job switching is rampant.

Payments of the vast majority at low levels

In many of the leading companies in the world CEOs and a few senior personnel are paid more than 100 times what the average worker earns. By keeping the payments of the vast majority at low levels, these companies make enormous profits which appear to be the only criteria for success. People are not given any importance – as long as they can work and contribute to the company’s bottom line, they are employed. If they cannot they are asked to go. No attention is paid to their emotional or physical well-being.

Studies have shown that employees expect to be “looked after” by their employers but most of them say that is not the reality. In fact factors like ethical business practices, honesty, care for employees, transparency, taking responsibility which are valued highly are not adhered to by many organizations.

The nature of business will change

In the future of work, the nature of business will change and employers have to develop policies and practices that are inclusive, collaborative and empathetic. Employees will work, not for monetary rewards but because of their passion and interest – money will not drive them. They look for well-being, happiness, freedom, transparency, open communication, corporate responsibility, community development, ethical and honest practices. Companies that provide these to their employees can progress beyond profits to being prosperous.

Employees want to work for “good” companies which care for their employees, their well-being, their health. They want to do meaningful work. They want to be given the freedom to do their own thing, to be creative, to experiment and to innovate, hence they will be loyal to companies that enable them to do so. In the future of work, profits  will no longer be the yardstick of success; companies that focus on prosperity will always put the interests of their people ahead of money and will be the success stories of the business world.