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Posted: 1:55 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

Treat employees well to grow your business

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In business, it's not just about having the right product, price point or location. It's about service. Your profits depend on it.

Here's an example. "Builder's Square" was a home-improvement warehouse designed by K-Mart to be a direct competitor of Home Depot. They looked like Home Depots, had similar products, but the service wasn't up to par, and they eventually went down.

Home Depot itself, after years of growth, started lagging in the service department after new leadership fired the full-time employees. Instead, they hired cheaper part-timers who didn't have nearly the level of experience or knowledge to offer customers. Their sales suffered mightily, and they've spent the last few years trying to undo the damage.

Simply put, if you value your employees, they will treat you well in return, and your business will thrive.

Cornell University did a study that shows that restaurant personnel in particular are treated poorly. The industry in general treats its staff as temporary--which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The high turn-over costs the food industry a great deal in lost sales and training.

Companies who understand about treating their employees well do so much better in the long run. Chick-fil-A is a prime example of restaurant that values its employees and managers, and they are among the fastest growing, most profitable chains in the nation.

So follow Clark's rule of thumb: If you want to do well in business, romance your employees, so they'll romance your customers in return. (Figuratively speaking, of course!)

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