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It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood. How about yours? - Dashboard NY

23 September 2020

{3 min. read} It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood. How about yours?

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, could you be mine?”

The opening line of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song is soothing and welcoming, but it’s also something more. It’s good business advice.

Your business is your neighborhood. And one element of a beautiful day in your business is a positive workplace culture. When employees feel satisfied with their jobs it can increase effectiveness and productivity. But if most of the days in your neighborhood are less than beautiful, then it’s costing you money.  We call that a “profit leak.”

There are many profit leaks caused by a toxic work culture. If we understand those leaks, we can prevent them from becoming an uncontrollable flood.

A common profit leak in businesses is employee turnover, which is often a result of bad workplace culture. Studies have quantified the cost of replacing an employee, such as seeking a suitable candidate, training costs, etc.  But there are also hidden or unquantified costs, such as the bad attitudes and resentments of remaining team members that impede productivity.

Your Business Should Be a Great Neighborhood to Live In

Studies have shown that employee happiness is directly correlated to productivity. And Mister Rogers approached his audience with the goal of making them feel good.  He was caring and nurturing. He made us feel valued. He encouraged us to talk about our feelings, because “Anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.” 

In Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,  everyone was welcomed and warmly invited to share their talents and ideas.  He allowed us to wonder and learn and told us it was always okay to ask a question.

Ideally, that’s the kind of environment we should have for our employees, and it’s also what Fred Rogers practiced in real life. Those who knew him say that Rogers was the same on-screen and off. His 30 years on TV left a wonderful legacy and a lasting impact on the world, and his brand is as strong now as when he was alive, creating monetary value for his estate.

You don’t have to be a saint, just a good employer

While you can learn a lot from Fred Rogers, that doesn’t mean you have to be him. Ultimately you need to be what Rogers strove to be; the best version of himself. Don’t take on a fake “nice” persona that doesn’t represent who you are, or you risk being seen as a duplicitous employer, not a good one. That’s what has happened to Ellen DeGeneres. Like Rogers, DeGeneres had a caring, empathic public image. But her neighborhood has been dark and stormy since employees began speaking up about a nightmare workplace

Ellen has become the poster child for the costs of a toxic work environment. After an internal investigation, three apologies from Ellen (so far), and the resignations of her producers, Ellen still has a lot of work to do to rebuild her brand, something she’s doing in the headwinds of even more accusations

As business leaders, you always need to pay attention to your culture

If you’re not thinking about your workplace culture, today is a good day to start. Happy workers add more value to your organization than can be measured. So ask yourself, what kind of workplace neighborhood have you built? Are the skies clear or cloudy? Is the neighborhood well-kept or dilapidated? Do you get along with the neighbors? Are you showing up each day as your authentic best self?   

Is it a beautiful day in your neighborhood? 

If not, what is it costing you? 

Want to learn some effective, tried-and-true ways to stop profit leaks in your business?  Sign up for our bi-weekly blog posts at info@dashboardny.com.

Carol Soman CPA

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