Don’t let frugality poison your workplace

One of my weekly activities to keep me in the loop of my local community is to read the Orlando Business Journal.  I catch up on events, get reminders of my colleagues’ birthdays (if they’re not already in my diary!) and glean a few words of common sense.

Below is an article written by Dr. Linnda Durre of Winter Park.  In this increasingly “interesting” marketplace, I feel that this article couldn’t have come to press at a better time:

Don’t Let Frugality Poison Your Workplace

Orlando Business Journal

April 18, 2008

In tough times, people need to economize, but make sure you are not penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Being frugal is crucial to surviving in a recession, but make sure your actions do not insult your employees.

Those who back higher salaries and other perks for themselves while their workers are counting pennies to fill their gas tanks sow seeds of resentment, revenge and revulsion.

The circumstances at Enron and Adelphia should remind us of the potential fallout.

I’ve had millionaire business owners question my fees, while they drive around in luxury cars, live in 10,000- square-foot homes and their businesses gross in the seven to 10 digits.

If you have bosses, company owners or employers like this, you must have the courage to say no. It’s a powerful little word and works wonders with those who want to run roughshod over the little people.

Someone wanted me to consult for his company, only at a bargain rate. After telling him that if I passed the audition, he could hire me to review his company, he said he wouldn’t do so unless my fees were lowered.

This individual’s behavior revealed the psychological profile of a business owner who is self-centered, insulting and sneaky. Those who behave like this may be the reason why their company may be failing.

Who wants to work for a boss who demeans his worker’s talents and tries to cheat them?

Penny-wise, dollar-foolish is a phrase that captures this type of thinking. These bosses and owners think they are saving money, but instead are sowing seeds of resentment in staff, contractors and vendors.

When you pay people for quality service, treat them with decency and respect. If you praise workers for what they do, they will reward you by working longer hours and turning out higher quality products and services. Employees will feel a sense of contribution because they feel they’re appreciated, valued and acknowledged. You’re building solid relationships, aimed at a prosperous future of working together — based on trust, reliability, honesty and commitment.

If you want a business to last:

  •  Provide excellent, top-quality products and service.
  •  Communicate honestly, openly and often.
  •  Honor, acknowledge and respect your employees, customers, staff, vendors and independent contractors.


Linnda Durre is a psychotherapist, writer and business consultant living in Winter Park who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and small businesses. Her Web site is Contact her at (407) 246-4681 or via e-mail at


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