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FOOD FOR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Aug
01
Treating employees well is just good business

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Have you ever worked for a company with an A+ culture that treats employees well, has outstanding values, good pay, profit sharing of some kind, generous benefits and special employee events?

In today’s marketplace, some firms are also offering their staff flexible PTO (paid time off) to celebrate the birth of a child or to help with an elderly parent. Some companies offer flexible schedules and training.

The spirit of these companies centers on treating employees with dignity so they can balance their work and private lives. As a result, many firms report their employees are happier, more likely to stay (reduced turnover) and perform at higher levels.

This formula for success is no secret – just study our good friends at White Castle, who have built a wonderful culture and successful hamburger chain led by the Ingram family. Or Chick-fil-A’s phenomenal success and growth led by the Cathy family. Both privately-owned firms have been led by family members for decades and focus as much on PEOPLE as they do the bottom line.

In the mid-1990s, I joined a company like this, Wendy’s. Founder Dave Thomas was chairman of the board at the time and led a culture that was unique. It was a bit home spun for a company that was publicly traded on the NYSE and had nearly 7,000 locations.

I remember one summer Dave invited every employee at the home office to his home on Buckeye Lake to celebrate with a picnic. We went in teams – about 40 to 50 of us at a time – over several weeks. Dave and his family were generous and welcoming. Dave was a legend by then after appearing in about 800 commercials. He dedicated countless hours founding and growing Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

I remember thinking how lucky I was to join this company. I stayed at Wendy’s for 18 years.

We want to share more about the incredible work the adoption foundation is doing with our members, so we’ve arranged for Rita Soronen to speak at our Idea Factory event on August 23 in Dublin, Ohio. Rita, who is CEO of the DTFA, will provide a peak into the success of the foundation and how it helps secure permanent, loving homes for kids in foster care. I encourage ORA members to attend this inspirational meeting.

The Idea Factory will also feature Hudson Riehle from the National Restaurant Association (NRA). He will provide attendees with a restaurant industry outlook. As senior vice president of the NRA's Research and Knowledge Group, Riehle directs consumer, economic, market, human resources, tourism and operations research. He also oversees the NRA’s Knowledge Center, which provides information services to restaurant operators and researchers.

ORA members can register for our Idea Factory event on our website by clicking here.

A few years ago, The Atlantic magazine wrote about firms that treat employees well. Read more about this in a wonderful story titled, “While some companies squeeze staff to make more money, a growing number are testing the theory that they can have both profits and happy workers.”