I had planned to post something else today but then ran across this ARTICLE in my Facebook feed (thank you @Samantha Emerson for sharing) and decided a new post was in order.
Business as a whole has changed dramatically over the past few decades and the notion of loyalty, whether from employers, employees, or customers seems to have become a thing of the past.
Interestingly, many companies have discovered the power of Storytelling, especially through video, to try and connect with their customers and show that they (the businesses) still have a heart. What they seem to have foregone, however, is any loyalty to their employees. To be fair, employees have also foregone any allegiance or loyalty to employers as well and so this circle of mistrust goes both ways.
Every once in a great while, however, I find glimpses of true leadership. Think Richard Branson and Virgin’s unlimited vacation or paternity leave policies which change the mold of how we think about our employees. This ARTICLE demonstrates such thinking. After a hail storm closed an entire mall, and caused a long term rebuilding of stores (months not weeks) one restaurant decided to INVEST in their employees rather than lay them off.
It isn’t just the fact that they paid their employees full salaries during the “closed” period, but that they also insisted those employees volunteer and get training to better themselves and hone their skills for when they came back to work.
Sounds great for the employees doesn’t it? You still get paid while NOT going to work, but these leaders saw an opportunity to help their employees not simply stay busy, but become better employees in the process.
Oh, and from a business standpoint, did it make sense? I mean paying peoples salaries while having to also pay for repairs to your business, how can that be a good thing? Well, they retained 83% of their staff, meaning they saved the cost of rehiring and training new employees (which as any business owner will tell you is significant), and perhaps more importantly, they gained the loyalty of employees. Employees who will likely work harder for their work family than those who are simply a number on a punch card.
Someone has to start rebuilding the idea of loyalty in business. In this case, the Employer stepped up. The rewards will be realized long after this story dies down… in the work of the employees, in the goodwill towards the community, in the difference customers notice when they frequent the establishment.
In business, all too often the focus is on the short term bottom line. Think further out in the future and you might just find yourself breaking new grown, thinking out of the box, and creating a whole new paradigm of success. Loyalty is great place to start.