In a world where every day seems more chaotic than the last, it’s nice to see that in 2018 corporate kindness seems to be winning a lot of headlines.
CVS recently unveiled the CVS Beauty Mark, a watermark that will be used to highlight imagery that has not been materially altered. Transparency for all beauty imagery created for CVS Pharmacy stores, websites, social media and any marketing materials will be required by the end of 2020.
Starbucks announced that it will use some of the savings from the new U.S. corporate tax cuts to give domestic employees pay raises, company stock and expanded benefits with a combined worth of more than $250 million.
And another recent headline comes from three corporate giants. With rising costs of health insurance and system inefficiencies, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co to form a company that will significantly lower health-care costs for their employees.
Kindness is the new currency. That’s the claim from author Jill Lubin quoted in a recent Inc. Magazine article stating that “Kindness generates more customers, greater connectivity, new prospects, forgiveness for your mistakes and higher employee and customer loyalty.”
We were humbly reminded of this when Dwyer Group recently received the national 2018 Malden Mills Award for Corporate Kindness. A little over 20 years ago Dwyer Group implemented its operationalized Code of Values, making sure each value was clearly defined. Live R.I.C.H — Respect, Integrity, Customer focus and Having fun in the process — guides our business decisions. We strive to keep these values front and center every day and encourage everyone in the company, from the leadership team to our franchisees on the front lines, to know and embrace these values. We don’t claim to be a perfect company, and never will be, yet our values help keep us on course.
The Riverside Company, the private equity firm that first invested in Dwyer Group in 2003 and again in 2014, has stated that Dwyer Group’s Code of Values tops their list of reasons why they continue to invest in the business. When Riverside reacquired Dwyer in 2014, Dwyer had eight franchise brands and 1,600 franchise owners. Today Dwyer has 19 consumer brands, and 17 of those are franchise brands represented by 2,800 franchise owners generating more than $1.5 billion in system-wide sales in 2017.
Dwyer Group CEO and President Mike Bidwell once stated that various franchisees have openly admitted that while they weren’t sold on the Code of Values at first, it’s ultimately what led them to becoming a part of the Dwyer Group family. And today we credit the company’s values for turning some of our most profitable companies into admirable brands in the minds of the general public.
A company shouldn’t just have a good Code of Values. The most important thing is to live those values and put them to work every day in a business. That means showing heart and a social conscience, respecting those you interact with every single day and doing what’s right, not only what’s profitable. At the end of the day, a company that lives and leads with values will always outperform, outshine, outdo and outlive competitors who place such values on the back burner.