How Not to Run an Awful Business
by: Andrew Stone
In today’s highly competitive markets if you want your company to make it, you need to set your brand apart. Some of the most effective ways of setting yourself apart from the pack and making your company successful is by not being awful to work for or with. This may seem like a gargantuan task but it is actually fairly simple if you follow this guide.
Step 1: Try your hardest to not be Nestle
Step 2: Remember that your employees are people too, although they may seem like mere drones who only exist to assemble your product for dirt cheap, they too have emotions. If you want to make it to the Forbes 500 you must cater to your employees’ needs from time to time. For instance: if your manufacturing site has an increase in suicide attempts, offer free counseling and perhaps more time off for your employees instead of just stringing up suicide nets everywhere (looking at you FoxConn).
Step 3: Hire a CEO who is not an asshole. A good example of someone not to hire as your CEO is Mike Jeffries, who almost ran Abercrombie and Fitch into the ground by insisting its clothes were only for good looking people while simultaneously looking like that one orc from The Hobbit, you know the one I'm talking about. He also fired employees for next to no reason, for instance the pilot of Abercrombie and Fitch’s private jet was fired by Jefferies for looking too old. On top of this many of the employee handbooks approved by Jeffries had strict and arbitrary rules like only certain colors of nail polish could be worn or that employees had to cuff their pants a certain way. What I am trying to say here is that just don’t hire Mike Jeffries because he is a douche.
Step 4: Keep the human rights abuses to a minimum (none would be preferable) and try to not mention anything human-rights-abuse-y. This is because human rights abuses are a very bad thing and will not only prove your company is just up to no good but that you, the mastermind behind this company, are of poor moral construct. For instance Nestle’s CEO recently found himself in hot water for insisting that water was not in fact a human right, but something that should be privatized altogether. This is on top of Nestle’s already controversial past with the whole bleeding California dry of water by refusing to follow responsible water usage rules at their bottling plants, or the thing about causing the malnutrition of numerous infants in developing countries in Africa with their distribution of minimal amounts of infant formula for “free” so that the baby’s mother’s stopped producing milk, when the formula ran out they had trouble affording more formula at the rates Nestle sold it at.
Step 5: Try to keep any animal testing that is necessary ethical. I understand that occasionally some things must be tested on animals before they can be sent to human trials and that this is a vital part of certain industries like pharmaceuticals until a suitable alternative to animal testing can be found. However something that is not vital to these industries is tormenting the animals that the tests are run upon. Essentially treat the animals that you are testing on with dignity and respect. Animal testing is a controversial topic and the last thing you want to do is find yourself in P.E.T.A. or any similar organization’s sights.
Step 6: Please don’t destroy the environment, it just tends to make everyone angry when you poison water supplies, burn a hole in the ozone, or anything similar. Not only is the fact that ruining the environment almost universally agreed upon as being bad, but there are numerous organizations dedicated to destroying your company if you destroy the earth. In the end it is better for everyone if we actually have an environment to live in.
Step 7: Pay your workers a living wage. Look I get that running a company is really expensive and a place where you can cut costs is in employees’ wages, but don’t, because that makes you an ass. For instance, if you run a company out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin the approximate average cost of living there for a single adult is $22,000, but the minimum wage in this area is $7.25 which means that for someone to survive on minimum wage they would have to be working almost 60 hours per week. Instead you could pay them around $8.50 per hour and they would be able to work a more reasonable number of hours per week like 48. Keep in mind that living wage is the bare minimum to survive too, it leaves next to nothing left over for anything other than food, rent, and utilities. In order to make your company less awful I suggest you pay people enough to live. It is really that simple, I promise. Cost of living varies by location as well so try to accommodate for this. In essence you just have to at least pay your employees enough to be alive in a certain area and that will keep everyone happy.
Step 8: Really try not to be Nestle, like seriously.