Businesses That Do Good Do Better
August 14, 2015 Leave a comment
The word businessperson conjures up a distinct image: someone in a crisp suit, worried about profits, and likely snapping at employees. But it doesn’t pay to be mean in business, and often ill treatment and unkindness will end up actually hurting a company.
Even Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and one of the world’s leading business heads, doesn’t believe that being cutthroat in the industry is a good thing: “Almost everybody will choose the products or services of an ethically sound company over its less scrupulous competitors,” he says, adding that a good place to look when starting a small business is to companies that do good in their communities because they are more likely to be successful.
Entrepreneur outlines a few of the reasons it’s bad practice to make meanness a part of your business. For one thing, if you are unkind to others or treat others disrespectfully, it will come back to you—the people you’ve hurt are likely to be unkind in return, and, perhaps worse, they could speak up about your tactics, which will hurt you in the long run. Additionally, employees with mean bosses might themselves incorporate meanness into their work and their teams, making for one hostile work environment.
Being unkind in the office stifles creativity and innovation, too. If people are scared to share insights and ideas, they won’t—the business won’t profit from the creativity of the people it pays to be creative, and the business won’t grow. While being an unpleasant person in life has its own repercussions, being mean in business has measurable disadvantages.
But not all bosses are mean, and many of them are wonderful, effective guides. Forbes offers useful tips on being a great mentor. Part of doing the job well, the article specifies, is to “believe in the employee, both personally and professionally,” cultivating a relationship of compassion and trust between employer and employee. Be committed to the people you take on board—remember that to help them is to help yourself.
If kindness and helpfulness pervade the work environment instead of harsh criticism and unkindness, employees will be creative, committed, and focused—all necessary traits to establish a solid business foundation. A company built on ethical practices and trust is very likely to outlive its nasty competitors.