Companies who live by this belief maintain a high level of communication with

Companies who live by this belief maintain a high

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Companies who live by this belief maintain a high level of communication with every layer of their teams. They encour- age employees to be themselves and work within their natural talents and passions. Team members are provided ways to develop and grow and advance, and don’t feel weighed down with complex or meaningless rules and policies. Those who work for “people-matter” organizations are often proud of it. They wear clothes or carry coffee mugs with their company logo, and they brag to their friends about where they work. If team members matter, team members know they matter. Do you want to see a company that values its employees? Look no further than Clif Bar, maker of tasty treats made with high-quality natural ingredients. Founded in 1992, the company now has three hundred employees who rave about where they work. A few years ago, Clif Bar moved to a new set of digs complete with four wide-open gardens, a fleet of loaner bikes available for running errands, and a fitness center with a climbing wall, yoga room, two massage rooms, and free access to five personal trainers and nutritionists. Employees get 2.5 hours of paid gym time per week. Clif Bar’s perks don’t stop there. Every employee gets a $350 stipend for entering races and competitions and $1,000 per year for eco-conscious home improvements. Each week, there is a company-wide breakfast with free food where a Clif Bar fan letter is read. They can choose from several flexible work options to fit their unique schedules, and after 00-01_PeopleOverProfit.indd 66 1/23/15 10:59 AM
People Matter | 67 seven years of service, they are given a six- to eight-week sabbatical. Oh, and if you love your golden retriever, don’t worry. The office is dog friendly too. 1 Do you think the Clif Bar team members know they matter? Exactly. 2. customers If there is no one willing to pay for what you’re producing, you might as well start sending out résumés. Customers pay our salaries. It’s that simple. Yet too many companies treat their customers like a mere metric of profitability. If patrons aren’t happy, they may let them walk, rather than work to meet their needs or rectify failures. Somewhere along the line they’ve begun operating as though customers exist to serve them rather than the other way around. By contrast, a “people-matter” organization works to make customers feel special and valued. They don’t just tell patrons that they want their business; they work to retain it. Companies that operate by this belief don’t have just good eyes to see people; they have attentive ears as well. When customers complain, it is taken seriously and addressed with empathy and compassion. And when customers are happy, steps are taken to keep it that way. While cutting corners might increase profits, these businesses refuse to do any- thing that would shortchange customers and erode trust. In fact, they go above and beyond to remind their customers how much they are appreciated and valued.

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