A couple days ago, I read an item in our local business newspaper that caught my attention. It was about several companies that were recognized for taking care of their employees while they were called to active duty in the military.
Actually several dozen Minnesota companies were recognized but two stood out.
One of them, Ultra Machining Co., of Monticello, (UMC) did several things that went above and beyond their obligation. They made up the difference in pay for their employee who was on active duty, they sent him frequent care packages. And when a storm caused damage at the employees home, 40 of his co-workers showed to fix things. The company paid for all the materials.
The other company that stood out is Eagle Global Logistics, Inc., of Eagan. What’s amazing about their story is that they didn’t even have an employee called to active duty. It was the spouse of an employee they helped.
When the employee’s husband was injured in Iraq (he lost both legs), the company came through in a big way. They gave her two weeks paid leave, made arrangements to care for her kids and put her on a plane (first class) to Germany so she could be with her husband while he was in the hospital.
And there’s more.
The company and employees donated over $60,000 in money and vacation time to give this employee a year of paid leave to care for her husband. And they’re helping them build them a more accessible house. (See the full article here.)
These two companies sound pretty remarkable. They sound like places where
people care about each other. They take care of each other. And they do it in
substantial, meaningful ways.
They also sound like the kinds of companies I’d want to do business with. As
a customer, I’d be proud to say I do business with either of them. In fact, I’d
brag to my friends about it.
If the people who make up these companies take care of each other so well,
then it’s a safe bet they’re good to their customers too. Most people don’t pick
and choose who they’re going to be nice to. They’re usually consistent about
In terms of attracting and keeping customers, this is pretty powerful. The
kind of awareness generated by these magnanimous acts cannot be bought. It comes
as a natural result of doing good things for other people. And that’s how it
If your company’s culture is to go overboard in how you care for others, then
you have an advantage that puts you miles ahead of your competitors. Because
such a culture comes from the heart and soul of its people. It can’t be trained
or manufactured. It’s not the result of a corporate strategy or policy. It’s not
something you can plan or purchase.
It happens when you fill a company with people who truly care about others.
It’s that simple.
When you have that, good things happen. And when enough good things happen,
people talk. And when enough people talk, your company develops a reputation for
being a great place to do business.
That’s the best marketing in the world.And it doesn’t cost a penny!