How can business actually be simplified? If we allow ourselves to apply a few concepts from disciplines other than business school training, we may find that the solutions to some of the most difficult issues that we face may simply boil down to human kindness.
If we define kindness as the absence of selfishness and self-centered concerns, we may be able to solve many issues between our suppliers and customers. Business is simply one activity that takes place in any society. I want to emphasize that we can’t abandon the fundamentals of running a business. Rather, I am suggesting slightly broader human considerations when we deal with the four (4) entities of most businesses. A business or organization that displays a modicum of humility and humanity will be rewarded by its four major stakeholders.
Here they are:
- Employees – If the practices of an employer are viewed as fair and humane toward customers, employees and associates have an accurate basis to believe that the employer is trustworthy in its dealings with them. This trust and respect allows employees and associates to enjoy their work and perform at their best. This means that they will treat the customers and each other well and with respect. It is generally accepted that a happy employee will remain with the organization for a longer period of time. Reduced turnover of excellent employees is a goal that is desired and pursued by virtually all organizations.
- Customers – Customers that are treated kindly, fairly and honestly are more likely to give their repeat business, and recommend your business to others. And as we know, attracting a new customer through marketing and advertising is approximately five times more costly than obtaining a referred customer.
- Financial stakeholders – Your investors are more likely to be trusting, patient and supportive when they are presented objective and accurate financial reporting. Financial matters do require precision and accuracy, but the financials are prepared and presented by people. Every respected banker or investor will agree that the character of a business or owner affect their behavior and decisions at some level. A self-centered or “tricky” business owner, once discovered, will find it more difficult to deal with their bankers and investors when problems arise.
- Suppliers – They have their policies and terms. However, they are more likely to be supportive and motivated to provide the highest possible level of service to your business if term are honored and communications about issues are handled in advance of payment dates and other delivery agreements. They will be willing to offer some extra help if you have some extraordinary circumstances.
The bottom line is that, the humanistic attitudes and behaviors affect relationships and transactions between people. So, if we can eliminate obstacles to quality relationships, any organization that exhibits these humanistic attitudes and behaviors will increase their performance.
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