Atlanta, GA - Family businesses are critical to the US, as well as the global, economy. Research shows the top 750 family-owned businesses in the world generate revenues of $9 trillion annually and employ 30 million people. With over 30,000 employees and $6.58 billion revenue in 2018 German-based Dachser ranks number 316 on this list. In fact, although family businesses in China are starting to grow, Germany and the U.S. dominate the list.
According to the US Census Bureau, family firms comprise 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America with company size ranging from two-person teams to Fortune 500 firms. These family-owned businesses account for half the country’s gross national product. Family-owned refers to companies whereby two or more family members are involved and the majority of ownership or control lies with the family.
One hundred per cent family-owned Dachser, a leading global logistics provider, believes being family-owned provides a competitive edge. According to Vincent Touya, Managing Director, Dachser USA, “A key advantage to being family-owned versus being a public company is that we do not need to respond to volatility in the marketplace, which allows us to keep our focus on servicing our customers, developing our employees and on pursuing our long-term strategic goals.”
Dachser is not alone in this thinking. Research has shown that continued family control results in long-term perspective allowing for unique strategic positioning, higher internal company values and less human resources problems.
A recent Harvard Business Review study showed that family businesses retain talent better than their non-family competitors do. They create a culture of commitment and purpose, avoiding layoffs during downturns, promoting from within and investing in people.
Family business leaders such as Dachser´s CEO Bernhard Simon, a grandson of the company founder Thomas Dachser, share a strong focus on professionalism, transparency, sustainability, collaboration and being united by shared values and purpose. They are resilient, able to take advantage of opportunities and innovate and transform their businesses as needed. Furthermore, they focus on the next generation, not the next quarter. They tend to embrace strategies that put customers and employees first.
This is visible within Dachser USA’s corporate culture. “Our employees have a strong connection to Dachser’s company and family values, which results in deep-rooted loyalty and a positive workplace. Employees who are inspired and feel appreciated are motivated to protect the brand and keep customers happy.” said Touya.
Experts agree with Touya’s position on this. The true driver of many family businesses is the sense of connection and identity the owners and their family members feel with the business, and how this impacts employees, and ultimately, customers. Often times, family members are so passionate, focused and energetic about the success of their business that it becomes part of their identity. Quality is especially important because the brand is associated with a family name and reputation. The enthusiasm of family business leaders often carries over to the employees, which is reflected in their performance.
Family businesses have powerful internal cultures, which impact the way employees feel about their company and its leadership. A recent study reviewed 114 family firms and 1,200 other large companies, looking at organizational health. The results showed that family-owned businesses score significantly higher on things like worker motivation and leadership.
“Another key advantage of being part of a family-owned business is that we do not simply measure success based on growth and profit,” says Touya. “Of course, Dachser USA has financial goals, but we also look closely at meeting internal goals, such as offering robust career development and achieving long-term employee retention. While it is hard to measure, we consistently work to ensure a positive, diverse, inclusive, challenging work environment that provides opportunities for a long-term partnership with our employees – and this is critical to our success.”