Market Me First - The Positive Career and Work Action Plan Market Yourself | Make Money | Be Happy

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Since 2005. Market yourself. Find better work. Make a name. Survive Layoffs. Be successful.

Thursday

Marketing Me! Business vs. Utopian Dreams

All businesses should:

Be environmentally friendly.
Encourage diversity in their hiring.
Provide excellent health care coverage and other benefits.
Encourage education through training and tuition reimbursement.
"Give back" the local community.
Provide a safe, clean and caring work environment.
Create regular philanthropic opportunities for the employees.
Insist the company be run based upon input from all employees.
Provide goods and services without obscene profits.
Make lead into gold.
Bring world peace, cheap gasoline and free beer.
And give it all away in the name of global harmony.
Blah blah blah...


All this and somehow not go bankrupt.


I had a friend who ran her small company along these lines.

Rather than make the core business the top priority, she put employees needs first. She ran her business like a democracy where every decision was the result of employee discussion and consensus. That included client relations, accounts payable and hiring/firing.

After a year and a half of missed deadlines, lackluster performance and lost sales, her business folded. Along the way to bankruptcy, her employees had plenty of meetings and gripe sessions all with catered lunches, chair massages and foosball breaks.

Is it impossible to have a caring business and still be successful?

Sure it is. There are many companies which provide wonderful work environments and have wonderful, happy employees and long work application lines.

Take the Container Store for instance.

Consistently rated as one of the best places to work, The Container Store is successful not because of tuition reimbursement or health care coverage, but because The Container Store sells neat profitable stuff that customers want to buy. To make the experience easy, The Container Store hires helpful people and places their store locations in easy to find, high trafficked areas. It works.

Also, my hunch is the employees of The Container Store love their work not only because of the benefits, but because of the vision and commitment of the business. It makes work fun, interesting, challenging and worth doing.

If you own or run a business, don't try to create a workers utopia - you will fail as you try and put the cart in front of the horse.

First, be identify and be successful at your core business.
Figure out how to delight and amaze your customers - be it with good value, innovation or excellent service.
If you succeed, your business will grow, you will make good money and can use that money to hire and retain talented motivated employees.

And if you have a true vision and are able to clearly share it, your employees will love working with you and serving your customers.

Focus on being a successful business and good employees will come willingly.

6 comments:

Rodrigo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rodrigo said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow, after reading your blog, you should really read the comments on the container store from the people who work there.
check out the comments on this blog
http://gothamgal.blogs.com/gotham_gal/2006/06/the_container_s.html#comment-70859520.
It is eye opening! and all true!! I too worked there & am so glad to be out!

Jack said...

Anonymous,

First thank you for posting! It is this type of interaction that makes blogs fun and traditional media boring.
Second, I read most of the threads in the blog post comments you referred. And although many former Container Store employees complained about TCS, it magnified my post's original point - That there is no way to make any employee "happy".
The common complaints in the link were about bathrooms, work hours, breaks and alleged discrimination. Having worked and managed bunches of people before, these are all common complaints at every job. In the end, bathroom and break complainers never work out anyway.
I don't shop at the Container Store. I think it is too expensive when Target has comparable products for the less money.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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