Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Benay Bank of Goodwill

Like most companies we look for banks that offer direct deposit, online banking, and a host of other services. But we also have an in-house bank, the Benay Bank of Goodwill. It’s not your traditional bank, rather it’s a policy that represents the most financially, socially and emotionally rewarding investments we as a company can ever make.

Daily Deposits

What is the Benay Bank of Goodwill? It’s the bank where employees (and the boss, too) make daily deposits of commitment to the company’s success by coming in on time, staying until the job gets done, working hard, supporting one another, and consistently striving to provide accurate and outstanding service to our clients. It’s where employees deposit mutual goodwill by doing a coworker’s task while they’re too busy, on vacation or out with a sick child—all to make sure that Benay Enterprises runs smoothly as a business and as a team.

You might say that sounds like a normal job: everyone should be trying to do their best, help their co-workers, and improve the company’s bottom line. The difference is that we reward our employees for acting like a team by letting them draw on their deposits in the Benay Bank of Goodwill, usually in a non-monetary way.

Withdrawals as Needed

One employee, who works doggedly every day, draws down on the bank by asking to work fewer days but longer hours in order to go back to school and get an MBA. As long as the work gets done and performance stays consistent, that’s fine with me.

For another employee of over 16 years, the withdrawal has been bringing her newborn to the office twice a week. Who doesn’t love a baby? She’s happy, so we’re happy; and we’re all getting work done.

The team here at Benay understands that we all have a life outside of work that’s much more important than anything we do from 9 to 5. We all have obligations and issues, so when one of my staff asked to leave early every other Wednesday to have dinner with her ailing father, I said “no problem.” The reward? She’s a dynamo who finds a way to assist every client with every problem and probably puts in more energy on those Wednesdays she leaves early than any other day of the week.

Clients Benefit

The rewards aren’t just for the employees. I have not had to worry about reassigning payroll duties for years. Even when my head bookkeeper is on vacation, she does payroll remotely, which keeps us running seamlessly for our clients. Her withdrawals from the Bank of Goodwill? Scheduling her vacation whenever she wants. Leaving early for a parent-teacher meeting. No questions asked.

We’ve even loaned money to an employee. If that employee didn’t get a needed a short-term loan for a car to get to work, they faced traveling to work by bus (which runs infrequently in the burbs), potentially missing hours or days of work to the point of losing their job. Then what? I would have lost a great employee over a small sum and they would have lost their livelihood and career. This is what our deposits of goodwill are for: mutual help, understanding and assistance when we most need it.

Intangible Assets

The Benay Bank of Goodwill, while having no visible monetary value, is what gives the real worth to my company, my staff and what we do. The deposits and withdrawals are made each and every day, in big and small ways.

I guess that makes me a rich banker, and here I thought I was a business manager! I urge you to create your own company Bank of Goodwill – the dividends are priceless.

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