Business isn’t just about the bottom line and making money. It’s about making life better, for everyone: owners, investors, employees, customers and society at large. Business is about people, not inanimate objects. Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude is that everyone is there to serve the business instead of the way it should be, the business serving society.
The business community’s philosophy of considering everyone just a cog on a wheel, whose purpose is to provide them with more money, has cost them. In Northern Arizona, most service and retail businesses refuse to allow their employees federally required lunches or breaks. Because of that, and their cavalier treatment of employees, their staff has no loyalty to them. When a business isn’t loyal to its employees, the employees return the same level of loyalty.
Many businesses drive away their best employees, and don’t invest in them or support them which would let them serve better. The mindset of “bottom lining” is a short sighted idea. It means that business puts on blinders that keep them from seeing other opportunities.
A local restaurant that had good food was sold. The new owners bought cheaper ingredients and the quality and taste of the food suffered. As a result, sales declined and the restaurant closed its doors. When business focuses only on today, and doesn’t take a long view of their future, it constricts the ability of the business to grow.
Finally, businesses are beginning to recognize that the lack of value they provide affects their bottom line. In the article “We Need To Stop Maximizing Profit and Start Maximizing Value” at businessinsider.com, the author addresses this issue.
Since the 1970’s, businesses have been focused on the bottom line. This has increased profits, but the quality of products and services and workers incomes have decreased. That means fewer consumer dollars are spent to grow business. It also means that the business isn’t investing in its own company.
“Maximizing profits” will eventually cause the house of cards to fall. More money is spent to train a revolving door of workers because there’s no reason for them to stick around.
Business needs to create more value for the community, and value its workers, for it to thrive. It’s in a business’ own interest to realize that business is not about products or making money. It’s about people and making life better.