The world today is a far different place than it was 30, 20, even 10 years ago. If you take a look 60 years into the past when Bazaar first started, those differences are even more drastic. And though we’re constantly shifting to adjust to our changing world, something we have always prioritized at Bazaar is not only being successful business owners, but also contributing to the communities in which we do business. Investing our time and energy in social issues is something we’ve been able to maintain by finding creative ways to weave social impact into our everyday practices.
You can look at your business in a lot of different ways. Some see their business as a way to feed their families, others see it as a means to solving a problem. We see our business as a catalyst for opportunity and betterment, not only within the walls of The Bazaar, but also in the world around us. The way we see it, we can still function as a business, providing the services our customers need, while making concentrated efforts to improve the world around us. While this might sound like a lot of work, incorporating these efforts into the day-to-day might be a lot easier than you think.
One of the primary ways we maintain this social consciousness is by advocacy for our employees. Brad Nardick, President, works specifically to advocate for disabled members of his community through hiring processes. This also ladders into our management and training programs, which we specifically build to support and ensure the success of all of our employees. While we do see direct benefits in profitability from these measures through low turnover, we also see more valuable, and undeniably more rewarding outcomes. We see a workforce who are free to be themselves when they are at their jobs. We see morale rise, and we see our employees engaging in meaningful discussions with each other. For us, it’s about building a common mission.
We also see measurable differences in the community around us, and have the pride in knowing that our employees were able to be a part of that change. And, finally, this social consciousness has allowed Bazaar to become more than a business. As Bazaar continues to evolve, we are inspired and fueled by purpose every day, constantly asking ourselves, “what can we do here that will make a difference out there?”. Community is like a drop of water in a bucket — it starts with the immediate ripples (leadership team, all team members) and permeates out to the community outside of our building.