Week in Review (8) Put your money where your heart is…

For most of my life I’ve done business with companies who treated me well. When there was extra money, I bought stock in those same companies. Why? Because a company who treats their customers well is more likely to be successful. And I was right, most of the time making 13-30% return on the money invested.

Recently I’ve come across another aspect of company’s treatment of people, their employees, and how it will affect those companies in the future. When the economy improves, when people are flush with cash again, consumers will remember.
People will remember how they, or their family member or friend, were treated when jobs were scarce. And they’ll spend their money at the companies who did business in an ethical way.

This week I’ve had contact with two extremes. One company where management is relishing their power over the peasants begging for a job, any job, anything to provide food and shelter for their family. And every day people happy to have even hard labor, minimum wage jobs are greeted with threats of being “written up” (as an incentive to work hard?). Immediately that good feeling of having even a 10-20hr a week job is gone, replaced with the feeling that the hard work given in exchange for minimum wage is not worth the degrading way the employees are met each shift.

180 degree turn: a company where the employees are met in a welcoming way, encouraged to remember the core values of the company and the promise to the customers of excellence in service. Employees are encouraged, praised and rewarded for doing well. The difference is like the heavens opened and angelic choirs could be heard.

I know that sounds a bit over the top but seriously, if you’ve gone to work where every time the employees are greeted at the door for the start of shift as if they’re all lazy thieves just there to goof off and steal, especially if you’re a hard worker and honest as the day is long, you’ll understand it’s a very discouraging environment.
Rather than all the focus being on “everyone’s a thief”, the main focus of the 2nd company is on encouraging to do everything to make the customer happy, have respect for the customer and their time, give great customer service to every customer, every time, every store. What an amazing difference!

In the 80’s it was an employee market… now it’s definitely an employer market. How a company treats it’s employees during this time will impact their success when the economy improves. Keep this in mind if you own a business!

Spread the word about good and bad companies; share good companies with your family and friends who are on the job hunt. Even if the company is not hiring now, eventually they will. Avoid applying for jobs at bad companies, or supporting them with your hard-earned dollars. It can be hard in this economy if they have better prices but you can do without or find what you need elsewhere. Do the right thing.

The 1st company will remain nameless as I attempt to work with corporate management to expose the bad treatment of employees at the store level. I wonder when these abusers of power are sitting on the other side of a hiring desk if they will feel regret.


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