Improving Your Employees’ Environment Can Start Outside Your Walls

September 6, 2011
Posted by Richard Cimaglia

Sometimes building is better than moving.

My office backs up to the Andy Street neighborhood of Long Beach, California. When we opened it in 2000, the neighborhood was rough, to say the least. The Long Beach Police Department had identified it as a “hot spot.” The Post Office had once deemed it unsafe to deliver mail there.  Drug deals were rampant and it was not uncommon to hear gunshots outside our office. This just wasn’t a great environment for our employees.

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We could have moved, but we made a different choice. At that time, a movement was afoot among city government officials and community leaders to improve Andy Street, not by traditional urban renewal, but by community involvement. We chose to get involved, ourselves.

The committee we joined along with other community members and business people, the Andy Street Community Association, aided by the city, got to work cleaning up Andy Street. It started with getting involved with the youth, then grew and grew. Now ten years later, the results have not only been spectacular, they’ve made our office a better place to work than if we’d simply picked up and moved.

For those who say their business doesn’t affect their community, and vice versa, I say it can be much richer if it does.


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