Why Living Wages are Important for My Workers, Business & the Community

Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov

Editor’s Note: The author, Molly Moon Neitzel, is the owner and CEO of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, a company comprised of six ice cream shops in Seattle serving homemade, locally sourced ice cream.

Molly Moon's Grand Opening - University Village
Molly Moon’s Grand Opening – University Village

When I first decided to open an ice cream shop, I knew that one of my goals would be to pay all of my employees a living wage. So I wrote it into my business plan, along with a few other things that were important to me, like paying 100% of the health insurance premiums for my employees and making sure all my product and packaging was compostable. I had my share of critics; there were plenty of people who said I was crazy, and that I would never be able to make a profit.

Seven years later, my company has grown from one shop with 7 employees in 2008 to six ice cream shops, with just under 100 employees during our busiest months. What I’ve learned is that taking care of my employees and paying a living wage is absolutely the right thing to do, and it’s also good business strategy.

Having a healthy, robust group of employees has a great impact on our community, and goes beyond just writing paychecks. It helps us recruit top talent, and it makes for a more loyal workforce and lower turnover which reduces training costs. Incorporating values into business strategy can also help your marketing plans. I know that, as a customer, I choose to spend money with businesses that share my values and I think my…

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