I recently had an electrician in my home to resolve a minor issue.  We have been trying to sync our schedules for weeks so I was relieved to finally have a professional here.

It was an early morning visit, not much chatting going on.  I led him to the issue, and he began working on it as I initially hovered, and then moved back to my computer to let him work.

The electrician called to me “Ma’am?” (which gave me pause, since I wasn’t sure he was referring to me). I returned to the circuit which he demonstrated was now in working condition.  He walked me through what he’d fixed and what to look for in the future, and we headed for the stairs to return to the main floor.

I noticed his t-shirt named the electrical company he worked for.  It said “founded in 1967” or something like that.  So, I inquired as to whether this was his company.  His age seemed to fit with that as a possibility.

What he told me next was so refreshing.  The man shared that the original founder of the company is deceased.  Prior to his death, he had great success and wanted to make sure those who help build that success reaped the benefits.  Apparently he had a few children who wanted nothing to do with the business but they were all present and accounted for when the will and estate contents were communicated.

The company founder left half the business to his wife, who survived him, and the other half to the employees at the company!  It continues to be run and managed by the same electricians and leadership that built it in the first place.  

The spirit of this generous act is inspiring.  Having just left the corporate world after 8 years I can’t help but wonder how productive and committed folks would be to their work and their employers if more companies learned to share the wealth more tangibly, if at all?

Without going too deeply into the psychology around this, I am fairly confident that we would not have such an imbalance between labor skills and open employment positions that our Nation currently faces.  Investment in people is the long-term strategy that builds stability in companies and helps them weather all kinds of storms.  Even pandemics.

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