As we enter February, love is in the air. “Love” is not a word commonly used in business circles, but it’s not like we don’t need it in the workplace. If we consider love as an authentic human connection, an exchange of good will between people, or taking care of each other, then it’s really critical to having a healthy company culture. What does this kind of caring look like in action?
In an effort to show us, in a few weeks, I’m moderating a breakfast panel with Conscious Capitalism ATL called Love & Humanity in Business: Creating a Caring Culture featuring Raj Sisodia, co-chairman of the national organization. Click here to see the details and register to attend.
Last week, I took Raj’s field guide audit on culture and examined some behaviors and activity that might constitute a caring culture. Behavior is what is observable in the real world. Thus, behavior is what we can measure and most readily influence. In this week’s article, I take it a step further with examples from previous CEO Exclusive guests with award winning cultures….who are also going to be panelists at the event, by the way.
Consider the Community
Jabian Consulting is masterful at stakeholder engagement. Your typical management consulting firm puts its consultants on the road four nights a week, making family life really difficult. Jabian has decided to be a 100% local firm out of a commitment to putting families and the community ahead of company profits.
From their CEO Chris Reinking: “Our goal is to serve our clients in the best way possible,” he states, explaining that it’s less about growth and more about that special consultant/client connection. “We want to make sure that our clients are as successful as possible…growth is a follower to that, as opposed to growth being the number one goal.”
This attitude has shaped their culture and a part of why the leadership believes they have been on the INC 5000 four times (no small feat). In fact, Raj is featuring them in his new book, The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World.
Treat Employees Like Family
At AG Rhodes, the oldest nursing home in Atlanta, the average employee has been working there over 40 years. I think this one statistic says everything. Why do people stick around in an industry where the average yearly turnover is 20-30%? Their CEO, Deke Cateau, says, “We do not want staff who come to us to be cogs, and just stick to the task at hand. We want staff to come to us and build caring relationships with our seniors, and caring relationships with our other staff.” They look for employees that will be willing to learn from the elders, and really create two-way relationships.
As a material demonstration of this commitment, AG Rhodes is one of the few organizations that has a pension for its employees. Yeah, that’s a word you haven’t heard in a while. Pension. A.G. Rhodes believed (and still believes) that by taking care of their employees, they create an environment in which their employees take good care of their residents.
Be a DoGooder
Many of the companies we’ve had on CEO Exclusive have made an investment in corporate philanthropy that has paid big dividends with their employees. Modo Modo Agency was one of the Best Places to Work in 2017. Moira Vetter, their founder, attributes some of this success to their DoGooder program. The employees choose a worthwhile cause through an application process, and the entire company takes one day off to donate their time. I was particularly impressed with the fact that Modo Modo does this quarterly.
Moira explains the cumulative impact of this program, “We’ve been doing it for nine years. It’s over the long haul. I think we’ve donated over 3,000 hours of volunteer time. It’s probably in excess of half a million dollars’ worth of effort that we took, from a small business, and were able to make big ripples in the community.”
I’m looking forward to having Jabian, AG Rhodes, and Modo Modo with me on February 15 to discuss these and other specific examples of what they are doing to “bring the love” into their businesses. It will be a lively and informative conversation. I hope you’ll join us.
Love & Humanity in Business: Creating a Caring Culture with Raj Sisodia
February 15 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Click here to register.