Service is at the heart of most successful businesses. This works to two directions. First can company provide extraordinary service to employees. Second businesses provide service to their employees. Few companies do both.
For example, Apple reinforces the quality of its products with Apple Care as they cover damages and repairs for up to two years. Compare that to the standard 30-day warrantee. Apple does this because they know their product is very good. They also know giving excellent customer service helps their bottom line.
Google places employees at the center of their service model. The company’s campus is built like a company town of the early 1900s. On-call chefs, dry cleaning, game rooms and cushy salaries remind the best that they are valued. In exchange they are expected to work particularly hard.
Alexis De Tocqueville noted and sociologist Robert Putnam reiterated the unique role of the volunteerism in America. It is unique in that other countries, such as the United Kingdom and some former Soviet nations, are less volunteer oriented.
Going the extra mile is not unique to multinational organizations. Americans provide service, frequently as volunteers. The 2012 Current Population Survey, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this year, found several noteworthy trends:
- Approximately 1 in 4 Americans, 64.5 million, volunteer for or through an organization
- Women volunteer slightly more often than men: 23.2 versus 29.5 percent
- Individuals ages 18-24 are least likely to volunteer
- At 31.6 percent, 35- to 44-year-olds are most likely to volunteer
- Married people volunteer more than their single counterparts, 31.9 percent versus 20.7 percent.
- Part-time workers are more likely than full-time workers to volunteer, at 33.4 percent compared with 28.1 percent.
- Education is a predictor for volunteerism: 42 percent of college graduates, over age 25, volunteer whereas 17.3 percent of high school graduates and 8.8 percent of those without a high school diploma.
The mantra that businesses are made of people is true. Whether founders or friends, build your interactions around the individual. Consider how this fits into your business plan or life plan. As the statistics show, everyone is doing it.