On Friday, November 30, 2007 the idea of Choose People was born. I was sitting in the Market coffee shop in downtown Denver, wishing there was a way I could prove to my clients that my company went above and beyond for our employees and that that was something I wanted my customers to seriously consider in their purchasing decision.
As the CEO of Exodus Moving & Storage, I was clear that taking care of employees = taking care of customers = taking care of the company. I understood that at the end of the day a customer didn’t care how many accolades Exodus had if their move didn’t go well. And it wasn’t the executive team that took the piano up the switch back stair case, it was my moving crew guys. My employees created the customer experience. I knew that when a company chooses their people as a primary focus, their customers win and the company is successful. This wasn’t a terribly new and innovative business concept.
However the idea of making it possible for customers to discern at the moment of purchase which companies were making their people a priority was new. Similar to the environmental movement where folks interested in supporting “green” can choose Energy Star products, I wanted to create a certification that would empower consumers who cared about employee treatment to support those companies whose employees feel good about coming to work. I also wanted to acknowledge those companies who were doing the right thing by their employees and garner consumer support for them.
Employee treatment has always been a big deal to me – not just as a CEO, but also as a member of the human community. Because employees are our neighbors, friends, family. And when people feel good about coming to work, the potential for the way they can show up in the world as citizens, spouses and parents is tremendously powerful. It really comes down to what’s more important – price or people? And I’ve always asked what’s the real societal cost of disgruntled employees? Employee treatment impacts our entire social fabric.
Now, almost two years later, the Choose People website is launched. This really is a dream come true.