Many of the 21st century social and economic tensions were present in America from the Civil War to WWI. Into this moment came the son of immigrants, H.J Heinz. From a precocious 9-year-old selling vegetables in the neighborhood to the leading manufacturer of condiments, Heinz brought the Christian faith, meticulous attention to details and a vision of business as a moral enterprise to all he did.
He experienced challenges as he grew his businesses, including bankruptcy. Yet, by the late 1880s he was a leading American “soil to consumer” manufacturer and distributor, with “HEINZ 57” as a branding motto reflecting the number of products they sold at the time.
By the early 1900s, H.J Heinz Co. was international, employing 4,000 full-time and 40,000 seasonal workers in addition to wholesale and retail networks.
Heinz framed all he did as service to God and considered the well-being of every person–contractors, employees, and customers–as vital to success. His attention to employee wellness included a 5-day work week, clean working conditions and good wages, promoting and offering education, medical benefits and retirement plans well ahead of his competition. Heinz demonstrated that people, the planet and profits can unite in an enterprise that adds value, creates wealth, and serves the common good." - Charlie Self.
Questions to Consider:
According to this article, Heinz allowed his godly character to determine the way he managed his business affairs. Do you integrate your faith with your business?
Heinz’s business was clearly a moral enterprise and it didn’t seem to hurt the overall profitability, even though he faced bankruptcy early on–how do you balance the bottom line (the need to generate profit) with Christ-like generosity?
Heinz considered his role in his company as “service to God” and therefore treated his employees with optimum fairness. How about you? How do you show your employees that you care for them?