Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
I love the magazine Fast Company so you might see me reference it from time-to-time – today being one of those times.
Jim Sinegal, the CEO of Costco was interviewed in a past issue and some of the comments he made really caught my attention.
“Wall Street grumbles that Costco cares more about its customers and employees that its shareholders; it pays an average of $17 an hour and covers 90% of heath-insurance costs for both full-timers and part-timers.”
I love that quote because it speaks of a corporate culture that “gets it”. If you treat your employees well, they will serve you well and they will serve your customers well which, after all, is the goal isn't it? But I think we lose site of this in ministry and non-profit contexts sometimes. Sadly, there are organizational cultures out there where the attitude is that since they are doing such noble work, it's ok to over-work and under-appreciate the employees.
The far-reaching implications of this kind of culture for a ministry or non-profit is that donations dry up, volunteers are no where to be found, people get burned-out and the very needs your organization exists to address don't get met.
And at the end of the day, it becomes an issue of bad branding and that can be incredibly difficult to repair.
Oh, and I should probably mention that despite being so focused on employee and customer care, Costco's revenues grew in the past five years by 70% and its stock doubled.
Costco might be a for-profit entity, but the principle applies regardless. Do your employees, the people you serve, your brand and your bottom line a favor – it's a win-win-win-win.