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Be About the People – Customers and Employees

Updated: Jan 4

Have you ever walked through a COSTCO, had lunch at a Chick-Fil-A, order from Amazon, or shop at a Whole Foods? I’m sure you’ve visited one or all of them. I’ve found that there’s a certain quality with each of them. There is something comfortable about the whole experience.

I know some people who are either employed by or do business with these companies. I also did some research on some of the most successful companies, nationally and globally. Interesting enough, much of what is said about successful companies, is what has been said by those I've spoken with.

“When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors.”
- James Sinegal

It’s been said of Jim Sinegal, former CEO of COSTCO, that he wasn't your typical corporate executive. He was all about the people (customers and employees). He came down to personally greet those who arrived for a business meeting with him. He would often be found conversing with employees during the course of a work day. His demeanor and leadership style reflected the company’s focus on consumers.

“Putting people before profits is how we've tried to operate from the beginning.”
- S. Truett Cathy

S. Truett Cathy founder of Chick-fil-A franchises was known for his positive mental attitude, being a man of deep faith, and his love for people. He was inspired by reading "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Cathy has also authored four books focusing on inspiration and business motivation.

Chick-fil-A has always been committed to people, whether training its employees and assisting them to further their careers, or providing customers with good value and treating them as special guest.

Chick-fil-A like COSTCO and so many successful companies had at the heart of their business philosophy “People First,” customers and employees. It takes patience and a major commitment to stick to a “People First philosophy, but when done right there are no regrets.

“Unless commitments are made there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
– Peter Drucker

Here are a few keys to consider, they’re battle tested and will always bring a measure of success and longevity to your organization. Be patient and persistent.

#1 - Having a Business Model that Works for You

Some key ingredients to a successful business are; identifying target consumers, providing good value to customers, providing good customer satisfaction, value employees, always be learning and implementing. Each of the companies I mention have these and much more.

“Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.”
– Jim Rohn

#2 - Successful Companies Know What They’re Good At

No company can be all things to all people. Highly successful companies know who they are and what they do best and their purpose statements will reflect that. Start by seeking personnel whose gifts, talents, and disposition match your purpose.

#3 - Workplace Culture

Culture is often overlooked with many companies. I believe culture is of primary importance because it drives the motives, mindset, and behavior of every organization. Think of culture as an unwritten employee “how to” manual. The culture of a company allows employees to know where theY stand, how to relate to one another, what is acceptable and unacceptable conduct. A positive workplace culture provides a great deal of freedom and inspires creativity.

  • Hire people who reflect the culture you're creating

  • Have a system in place that familiarizes new employees with the purpose, values and missions of your company

  • Be aware that good ideas and decisions can come from anyone

  • Build relationally, exemplify values and spend time with your team

#4 - Workplace Environment

Create a workplace environment that includes good interior and exterior design. Studies show that an inspiring atmosphere maintains motivation, enhances commitment, and communication.

#5 - Establish an Effective Online Presence1

  • Claim your identity on social media before someone else does

  • Actively contribute to common business and personal profile sites

  • Add new blog content to your site on a regular basis

(1) Read more from 6 Keys to a Positive Online Presence and Reputation by Martin Zwilling

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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