In Tuesday’s (9/22) addition of Coyle’s ‘The Company’ segment, Jennifer Vollmert discussed McKinsey & Company’s “Leadership Lessons for Hard Times.” One of the key points from this article was on the importance of building and protecting a company’s culture, even in tough economic times.
In today’s segment, I wish to dig deeper into the idea of company culture and highlight one company, that has done a wonderful job in not only protecting their company’s culture, but also building upon it; specifically that of being a sustainable restaurant and brewery.
In this article found on greenbiz.com, it mention sthat on August 26th (2009), the owners of Standing Stone Brewing Company of Ashland, Oregon, launched a free employee bike program, providing a bicycle (adorned with company logo) to each employee who agreed to at least 45 round-trip pedal-powered commutes per year. The cost of each bike, after state energy tax credits, came to approximately $300 dollars.
The implementation of the free bike program aimed to assist the company in reaching its goal to “operate our restaurant and brewery sustainably,” and lower their carbon footprint. Additional benefits derived the program have shown themselves in increased employee and guest engagement (1/3 of the staff signed up and the owners are being recognized on the streets by people who have heard about the program); increased brand awareness and marketing (via eye-level advertising to potential guests and articles written about the program); and increased employee health (regular exercise, such as bike riding, is beneficial to one’s overall health).
The Standing Stone Brewing Company’s employees, whom the journalist spoke with, were on a pace to well exceed the 45 days per year minimum, psyched to get new bikes, and were especially proud that their employer had put their money where their mouths are when it came to promoting sustainability.
The notion of “a happy employee makes a happy customer,” comes to mind here. And in a time when companies are trying so hard to engage more with their employees and a guests, the Standing Stone Brewing Company appears too really have hit the hammer on the head with this one.