At the beginning of the month, the Desloge Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon at the Lincoln Street Event Center, and members heard from guest speakers William Britton of Walmart and Clay Whitener of United Way of St. Francois County.
Attendees of the luncheon heard about the different ways that United Way is involved in the community by how they give back and the fundraisers the organization does throughout the year.
According to Whitener, United Way is in the midst of its biggest fundraiser of the year which is the annual Bell Ringing Campaign.
Last year United Way raised more than $33,000, and Whitener stressed that the neat thing about United Way is that every penny donated to the organization goes back to helping someone in the St. Francois County community.
Whitener also mentioned that there are still hours of the day that an individual is not signed up to ring the bell and encouraged people to donate a few hours of their time.
On average, $50 is collected each hour from the Farmington and Desloge Walmart locations.
After Whitener spoke, Britton, manager at Desloge Walmart, shared about the importance of a healthy work environment and how to cultivate that.
“I have been with the Walmart company for almost 15 years, and this topic is something that is definitely near and dear to my heart,” said Britton. “There is not a right or wrong way to establish a healthy work environment because every business and every organization is different.
“But there are a couple things that I think everybody can really focus on if you want to improve your work environment.”
Britton spoke about investing in your employees, being transparent and having consistency, honesty and integrity.
“The one thing I learned most is that the people and how you treat the people is what makes the difference.”
Britton shared about an experience that he had when he first began working for Walmart in his 20s that showed him how important it was to treat his employees and employers well.
His manager, at the time, said to him that if he ever wanted to be successful in this company then he needed to learn how to talk to people.
“Your people are a direct reflection of you as a leader,” said Britton. “You have to teach your people, you have to let them make decisions, you have to let them scratch their knee a little bit and fall down and then to get back up.”
On the leadership side of things, Britton touched on always having an attitude of learning and about how to empower your employees and people.
“You want your people to know they are more important than a sales number.”
The next luncheon will be on Jan. 7.
Macey Adams is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or email@example.com