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Cheap Toilet Paper

October 8, 2019

This year ADDO was voted the #1 Best Place to Work in Atlanta for Small Businesses.

This is a testament to every single individual on our team because they’ve helped create a culture where people are able to exercise their unique talents toward a mission they believe in—to inspire people today to impact tomorrow.

If you were to ask me to name one thing that makes ADDO a great place to work, my answer might surprise you: 

We don’t buy cheap toilet paper.

On our internal communication tool, we make a Costco list each month. What snacks do people want? What cleaning supplies do we need? Are we out of paper towels? Do we need more K-Cups? And every couple of months, we need to buy toilet paper. 

Survey the ADDO team members who’ve been around for a while and they’ll tell you how frustrated I get when we buy the wrong toilet paper—the cheap stuff. You know the type I’m talking about. It’s the kind of toilet paper in every public restroom that feels like sandpaper but ironically is so thin you can see straight through it. It’s the worst. 

Enough of my rant.

When we think about creating a great place to work, it isn’t all about ping pong tables, bean bags, and beer fridges. No matter what our culture propagates, these aren’t the kinds of things that make a business attractive to young talent. Additionally, it’s really tough as a small business to afford some of the perks that a large corporation can.

What’s really important for our clients, and also for our employees, is to know that we care for them.

And one of the ways to do this is through small, simple acts that show we care. Things like spending the few extra dollars on the better toilet paper.

Symbols of care (like good toilet paper) not only create a better work environment, but they also positively impact different areas of our professional and personal lives.

Bringing coffee and donuts to a meeting before school shows your teachers you appreciate the sacrifices they made to come extra early before a long day of planning lessons and teaching students. 

A personal warm greeting and an invitation to join your family for a meal can help you welcome new people to your church. 

A hand-written note could remind a client of how much you value their business.

Taking a donor to lunch to tell them how much their contribution means to your organization could help build a long-lasting relationship.

Calling your spouse on your lunch break to ask about how her big meeting went that morning shows that you remembered, that you were thinking of her, and that you care about what’s important to her. 

It’s often not the big, bold, expensive gestures that communicate you value people.

It’s the small but significant symbols that send a message that you actually care.

This week, be intentional as you work to communicate care to the people closest to you. And whatever you do, don’t buy cheap toilet paper.


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