I recently tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) playing basketball and several weeks ago had surgery. In order to fix this, my doctor apparently needed what felt like my entire hamstring to recreate the new ligament. Felt a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul but in order to walk and be active again, that is what needed to happen. The resulting benefit of this surgery is the joy of being on crutches for almost two months. Being on crutches is an incredibly humbling experience. I have little old ladies holding doors for me, strangers offering to carry things out to my car, my brother even let me borrow his BMW as my car is a stick so I can’t drive it for a while. In fact, just this morning, someone from some company in my building saw me hobbling in from the parking lot and ran down to the lobby just to hold the door for me. It has been quite remarkable the kindness and goodness displayed by people and makes me hope I am displaying these same things to others.
Then I heard a story on the radio about kindness and goodness of a company owner in Oklahoma. Tim and Patty Ridge own several McDonald’s in Oklahoma. In one of their restaurants, they decided to rebuild the restaurant which would take three months. The problem was what to do with all 70 employees during these three months. Someone looking at just the bottom line would have let the employees go or forced them to work in another restaurant. What Tom decided to do was let the employees work at another one of his McDonald’s or take the three months paid and go volunteer in the community (food banks, churches, schools, etc.) Thirty employees decided to work at another restaurant, 40 employees decided to volunteer (what were those first 30 thinking). Those that volunteered told Tom what an impact it had on their lives and it also had a tremendous impact on the community. Can you imagine the impact 40 people could have if all that had to do was help the community for three months? The impact in the community was incredible.
Many would assume that over these three months these employees would find other work or move on. When they were ready to open the restaurant again, EVERY employee came back. Did you catch that? Every single employee came back. On top of that, they had to add 30 more people because the store was so successful. What was first seen as a huge expense, turned into to an incredibly profitable proposition for Tom. If you listen to the interview in the link below, you will learn that Tom is a very religious man and he did not do it for the money, he did it because it was the right thing to do. The success of the McDonald’s was just an added benefit.
Obviously companies have to be fiscally responsible but doing the right thing can lead to business success.
If you want to hear an interview with Tom, you can click on this link.