Many people would argue that empathy and business don’t go hand in hand, and while this may be true in some cases, the Bazaar would beg to differ. We often wonder how we got so lucky, to have both a family-like community and data-backed results when it comes to sales and profit. But we realized, maybe it wasn’t luck that led us to be in this position. Maybe the care we feel toward our employees’ success and happiness, and the sustained success of the Bazaar as a business aren’t mutually exclusive.
In the spirit of celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness month, we’ve been creating an open dialogue with our employees to learn more about how we as a company can help them feel safe, supported and that they’re truly thriving in their work. We found that we succeed so well because while we have a culture of high standards, we also have a culture of open communication and support.
As Manny Guillen, one of our forklift operators put it, “the managers actually put in the time and effort to help people. And if you get something wrong, it’s not the end of the world.”
Sentiments like Manny’s show us that the culture of care we have created isn’t just about showing those around us kindness. It’s also about investing in the people who put in hard work and contribute to making the Bazaar what it is. And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In September alone, the Bazaar inc shipped over 2.8 million units to 225 different B2B customers, ranging from small mom n’ pop shops to publicly held national chains. The Bazaar is proud to have a staff of which 20% are members of the disability community, but we’re even more proud that our staff is able to see the results of the effort they put in day in and day out.
We know that it can be easy to fall into a pattern of going through the motions at work, and we can’t say we haven’t found ourselves guilty of this as well. But we’ve noticed that when we take a little bit of extra time and put a little extra thought into what we’re doing, the reward is so much greater. By implementing employment and management programs for our disability community, by having conversations with the people who are responsible for our company’s success, and by creating a culture of growth and learning, the results are two-fold. Not only do we see the metrics that come along with a productive workforce, we see the pride and satisfaction that our employees feel from being a part of this team. And we can attest that the extra effort in the upfront creates an invaluable experience for all involved.