A St. Louis County company has become a national model for how to handle economic downturns

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ST. LOUIS, MO. – Many companies are facing tough times as the economy grinds to a halt during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Unemployment has skyrocketed and many employees who are still on the job are facing furloughs as company profits are falling rapidly.  But one company has become a national model for how to handle economic downturns following their approach in the 2008-09 recession. 

Bob Chapman, CEO and Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller corporation based in Clayton, Missouri literally wrote the book on how to handle crisis situations in the business world.  Chapman wrote Everybody Matters several years ago where he outlined his philosophy that “everybody matters” inside the walls of a company and they measure their success by how they care for the people they have the privilege of leading.  He says that too often companies are only focused on the bottom line and fail to realize that their biggest asset is their people.  

Chapman says the key is that the better a company takes care of their people, the better their employees will be with their families once they get home.  That leads to healthier lifestyles, and ultimately business success.   He says that in time, all companies are judged by how they treat their employees, and that is their real legacy as an organization.  “I will not go to my grave proud of the machinery I built,” says Chapman.  I will go to my grave proud of the people who built those machines.” 

Chapman also tells employees that your greatest growth can happen during difficult times.  That is when you see how you handle stress.  And when you are faced with difficult decisions, if you think of other people first, it often makes the decision on how to proceed easier.

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