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Businesses will never be truly successful unless a climate of good character fills the workplace. Businesses have proven that, when character is emphasized, there are quantifiable results in productivity, use of time, and profits.

Several years ago, Tom Hill, of Kimray Corporation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, noticed problems in his company with personnel, ranging from drug and alcohol use, tardiness, and low morale to slow development in skills. The overall result was low productivity.

Mr. Hill began to develop materials on character qualities
and out of that grew Character First, an organization that has spawned character programs for schools, cities, and nations. The
International Association of Character Cities was birthed, and it is with this organization that Hempstead is affiliated.

The results of integrating character into Kimray Corporation were astounding. Employees were happier and more productive and felt better about their work and home relationships. Absenteeism and low morale decreased markedly. To state the benefits to Kimray from character in hard facts, the Workman's Comp costs at Kimray went down from $24,000 a month to $4,000, a reliable indicator of the character of the employees.

Other companies have reported amazing results. One corporation had a 10 fold increase in their profits after a character program was initiated. Another company said their Workman's Comp expenses had gone from $474,000 a year to $47,000, down 90%! A nursing home that had had a 100% turnover rate in employees each year reported that their rate was down to 6% after character training. Hospitals have found that patient surveys showed a marked increase in "satisfied" responses after the hospitals emphasized character.

Character training not only helps employees gain efficiency, but gives employers insight and training into their own character. Character must first be modeled by leaders before it can be "caught" by followers. For example, employers often react to a lack of diligence, responsibility, or punctuality in their employees. But, employees can react to an employer's lack of sensitivity, truthfulness, or tolerance. Character training creates a climate of understanding, communication, and cooperation in the workplace, with employer and employee working together for the good of the business and for the development and well-being of the employee.


Character in Business
"Character is a company's most valuable resource and product."

--Ralph Larson
Chief Executive
Johnson & Johnson

3 Keys to building good character in your business:

Emphasize good character
Require good character
Reward and recognize good character

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Hire on the basis of character. When interviewing, ask questions that look for specific character traits. For example, say, "Tell me about a time you had to make a hard choice between your employer's directions and a peer's request."
Fire on the basis of character. A character deficiency is behind every behavior problem.
Educate your employees about character. Hold monthly or weekly meetings to present new character qualities. Use posters and newsletters to remind employees of the character quality, creating a "climate of character." Use the materials on this website freely. Bulletins about each character quality and a teaching DVD are available each month from www.characterfirst.com.
Evaluate your employees based on character. What character trait would help them improve the quality of their work?
Give individual employees specific goals to build good character into their lives.
Award good character. Consider giving an award each month to the employee who has most exemplified the month's character quality.
Design company policies that encourage good character.
Sponsor a company community workday to encourage application of good character.

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How Can You Develop Character in Your Organization?
Would your company be interested in a local seminar with a consultant trained in developing character in business?

Click here to let the Character Council know of your interest.

Why is character important in business?

Character ~

Brings success
Improves relationships
Enhances quality of work
Creates workplace safety
Makes the employee valuable to the organization

Why not commit your organization to be Character Builders? Your example will inspire other in your community to want to build good character.
Tips for employees to build character

Be productive, especially when your supervisor is not present.
Do your very best, even when your work may not be closely evaluated.
Treat others as you would like to be treated, regardless of who they are.
When you are wrong, quickly admit it and quit it.
Go the extra mile to make others more successful.
Take care of company equipment and vehicles.

--permission to use
granted by Character First
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Remember to make use of the resources available to your company through www.characterfirst.com.
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