A few weeks ago, I engaged in a great conversation about the importance of having a solid company philosophy. It was with a man who worked as an executive for many years at Worthington Industries, a very large, multi-national corporation that specializes in steel processing.
He showed me a company philosophy card that he had received nearly 31 years ago, when he first started working for Worthington, and to this day -- he still keeps the card in his wallet.
He believed wholeheartedly in Worthington's company philosophy, and he has strong feelings regarding many companies who lack a true belief in a common philosophy and goal.
While it's true that many of today's companies have great marketing copy that explains what philosophy they subscribe to, and sure, it often reads like a dream, but more often than not, they are just empty words. Sometimes, the copy is even written to contain marketing buzzwords in hopes to help generate organic website traffic. Frankly, I personally find that pitiful.
Respect, empowerment, and accountability...it's not a new idea, but by today's standards, it certainly seems to be lost in translation.
Upon request, the former executive was nice enough to provide me with a scanned copy of his 31-year-old philosophy card. I will include the scanned images below.
One final thought:
Profit sharing, for any privately-held company, is the best way to keep one's employees engaged. It provides a true sense of commonality between every worker -- from the bottom, to the top of the proverbial "totem pole."
If the employees do well, and in turn, the company does well, than the employees are rewarded. What better way to reward an employee other than providing an ownership stake in the company they work for and sharing in the profits.
It's a simple idea that is sometimes scoffed at, but think about it -- happy employees make the best employees. Remember that.
Starting to show its age!