The Catholic Economy 1: How the Catholic Business Treats People
Here are a few ideas on how we can treat people, rooted in the Catholic faith, inside and outside of our business. These points are about pricing regarding our competitors and the benefits of working for a Catholic business.
How to price your products as a Catholic business:
- There has been some predatory pricing recently with inflation and hoarding of certain products. Predatory pricing is setting prices so low that you drive your competition out of business. Do I price my products or services to attract customers and improve my business by offering a better value, or am I trying to drive my competitors out of business? We must avoid practices designed to eliminate our competitors- it’s aggressive and unjust.
- There are many just strategies that we can adopt to improve our business while avoiding predatory pricing. The Catholic business owner needs to properly price his products in a way that is fair and demonstrates, to his advantage, the goodness of his products or services, but avoiding the predatory pricing that is designed to drive your competitors out of business.
How to treat our employees as Catholic business owners:
- Many companies offer flexible start and finish times with core hours the employee needs to be present, so their employees can attend to family matters, like dropping off and picking up kids at school. What if we went further, depending on the cost of it with your spreadsheet analysis so you can stay in business? We can have time off for feast days, birthdays of children, spouse, or baptism anniversary, grieving the loss of a family member. In short- go beyond the minimum time off mandated by law and be charitable to your employees.
- You can be flexible where you don’t necessarily give more days off, but make up for it later on, like having a banked hours policy where an employee has a pool of hours from which they can draw down.
- Performance pay can have several levels. You can have team, individual, and company performance pay, or unite them into a single package. These three can be valuable to promote living wage.
- Living wage is where a single breadwinner, usually the father, earns one income and supports the family. A Catholic business can make movements toward paying a living wage, which engenders loyalty and honors the traditional family concept.
- You can do things that promote stability, such as having the same workstation every day, so the employee can have pride of workmanship and pride in keeping it well-maintained. This is opposed to a trendy concept of “hoteling” where the employee just grabs a workspace when he shows up to work.
- Have fixed hours of work (core hours) that are flexible before and after the core hours. This creates stability without creating inefficiencies. It also creates a culture of trust between team members and employee to employer and vice versa.
- Input from employees is often only given lip service by many companies. A Catholic business can have advisory committees of employees who advise on quality, production, efficiency, office management, marketing, sales, troubleshooting on emergency situations.
These ideas I mentioned in this video may cost upfront, but may also reduce costs in the long run. You can come up with other creative ideas to treat your people as unique individuals, created in God’s image and likeness, as real Catholic business owners. As usual, you can simulate these things through spreadsheet analysis. Even though they often have an up-front cost, they tend to lead to increased productivity, offsetting the cost.