Last week I was one of four business leaders profiled in our local paper. We were asked to describe our business and personal New Year’s resolutions, which ended up being something of a fun exercise. But what I found heartening was that we focused on people, from different angles. I won’t regurgitate the entire article or provide our personal resolutions, but here are some excerpts.
Mark Woolpert, chief executive officer of Compass Health Inc., a privately owned corporation that includes nursing and assisted-care facilities for seniors, restaurants and an art gallery. The company, based in Grover Beach, employs about 1,200 workers locally.
"We have a philosophy in the company; it’s people caring for people caring for people. In our business, which mostly involves services to the elderly and the community with our restaurants and bars, the same thing applies. The people who work for me take care of the people around them."
Biz Steinberg, executive director of the private Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County Inc., the largest local provider of services to homeless people. The EOC employs up to 750 people.
"I look forward to continuing to work successfully within our local community on behalf of low-income families and individuals, which includes the elderly, veterans, the homeless, teen parents, agricultural workers and their families, the physically and mentally challenged and youth struggling to find themselves. All of my work and EOC’s work is done in collaboration with the private, public, nonprofit and volunteer sectors of the community, which we greatly cherish. I will always seek improvement in the quality of life for all residents in our community."
Alan Iftiniuk, chief executive officer of French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, a Catholic Healthcare West facility that employs 494 people.
"What jumps to the top of my mind is really to continue to stay in touch.I think professionally I’ve been successful at French because I’ve stayed in touch with the stakeholders, including the community, patients, staff volunteers and physicians. That’s one of the things I’m good at here — being open and available to stakeholders, and listening to what they say to us."
And then there’s me…!
"People are the core of a business. Many companies think of people as simply a set of hands and do everything they can to use automation to supposedly reduce costs. The true value of people includes their knowledge, creativity, experience and ideas, and unfortunately, that value isn’t reflected on the P&L (profit and loss) or balance sheet … but it is real. The last time I checked, I had never heard of a robot that had submitted an improvement idea. Therefore, my new year’s resolution is to better utilize the value of our 350-plus people in Paso Robles, Southern California and northern Michigan. To do this, I’ll make a point of spending more time on the factory floors and in every department at each location. I’ll make sure our people receive the training and support they need to deliver superior value to our customers."
I have received numerous emails and letters complimenting the four of us on our focus on people. People as customers, stakholders, or employees. I’ve also received numerous offers to sell me airplanes, but you’ll have to read the article to understand why!