A Jewish business is one that is owned by a Jewish individual or one that has a contingent of Jewish employees that add a Jewish flavor to the culture of the organization. The culture of a Jewish business can have many advantages to the bottom line- if you can harness it.
Running a Jewish business is just like any other business except that you should be mindful of special needs and avoid having your company looked at in a negative curious way. As long as you continue to remain professional and keep your rules consistent your organization will prosper.
A successful Jewish business will have a close-knit employee base which will increase morale and allow the team to work well together. This applies to gentiles also as they learn the ins and outs of Judaism and share their religion and culture.
Case Study: There is a respected accounting firm that is able to retain key employees because they have an excellent Jewish culture. Employees will stay with the company longer even if their pay is less than what they would make elsewhere because “it’s fun to go to work- I get to see my friends.”
Although an employee goes to work to earn a paycheck, they stay at work because it gives them personal satisfaction. Your goal is to keep your employees happy. They wont necessarily work for less money as in the above example but will be more productive.
Here are some keys to get the most out of your Jewish business:
1. Make it easy for Shabbat observers- Scheduling is one the key factors for Jewish employees who are Shabbat observers. One idea is to have 9-6 hours on Monday through Thursday and 9-1 on Friday. Another idea is to create a staggered schedule: non-Shabbat observers can take the Friday late shift while having time off at another point in the week. A third scheduling solution is to allow telecommuting on Fridays if the position allows it. See Telecommuting: Smooth Sailing Into Shabbos.
2. Kosher food- Make kosher meals easily accessible for those who want it at company events. This little convenience will go a long way to allowing your employees to interact with each other.
3. No us against them, treat all customers well. In ultra-orthodox neighborhoods some people feel uncomfortable if they aren’t dressed properly etc. Make customers feel welcome and the customers will come back.
4. Allow for prayer time Try to set aside a specific time in the day where employees who want to pray can do so. If you allow your conference room (or other area) to be used for this let your neighbors know. It’s very neighborly and can be an excellent networking opportunity.
While you’re out there in the business world treat all people Jewish and gentile with respect. This is not only good business practice but may also tear down walls of hate and anti-Semitism.