A People-Focused Investment

Strengthen Your Business Relationally

Returns on investment take on multiple forms in the world of business. While we often think in terms of marketplace investments, it is just as important for leaders to invest in their own people. Doing so heightens morale, develops personalized skills, and strengthens the overall impact of a company. In this post taken from the course, "A Light in the Business World," Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne's, reflects on the ways in which she sought to invest in her employees and offers practical tips for incorporating this into relationally leading a business.

Anne founded Auntie Anne's in 1987 to support her husband's vision to offer free counseling services in their community. Today, Auntie Anne's Inc. is the world's largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise with over 1200 locations worldwide. Anne is among an elite group of women who have founded national companies in America, and is one of an even smaller number who have owned an international franchise company. In 2005, she sold Auntie Anne's and authored her book, Twist of Faith.  

Investing in the right markets is important for a profitable return. In the same way, investing in your people makes them better, which in turn strengthens the overall effectiveness of your company.  

What are some of the ways you invest in those within your business? What do you consider to be the best ways to show someone you are invested in them?
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Anne shared how she tried to invest in her employees by giving them her time. In what ways could you use your time to serve others? How do you think this might change the way your people respond when you give them responsibilities to fulfill?
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In addition to viewing her time as an investment, Anne mentioned how she took opportunities to send her employees to conferences or purchase books that would help them develop professionally. Did this prompt in you any fresh ideas for developing your people? If so, how? What do you think this level of personal investment would do in strengthening the impact of your business?
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People are motivated in their work when they know they are cared for. Personal investment is an important quality for all leaders to cultivate and it can come in a number of forms from sacrificing time to financial backing. As you consider the influence you carry, look for ways to personally develop your people in order to create an encouraging culture and a stronger business environment for everyone involved. 

To purchase a copy of Anne's book, Twist of Faith, click here

For more insights and teaching from Anne Beiler, check out the full course, A Light in the Business World