On each employee’s 20th anniversary with Datatel, Griffith would put on a tuxedo, climb into a rented limousine and pick up the employee for a fancy ride to work. More than 600 co-workers would wait outside to welcome the employee and family with a standing ovation.
But Griffith’s attention to people wasn’t only about long tenures. Datatel had won awards for being a good place to work.
Example: Griffith encouraged employees to complete community service on company time. His own focus: making sure that soldiers and veterans were supported, something he’d lacked as a working-class kid who was accepted at MIT but wound up in Vietnam.
During 35 years at Datatel — 14 as president and chief executive — Griffith grabbed plenty of chances to express this core belief: “If you take care of your people, they’ll take care of the customers.”
—Adapted from “An Executive Who Focused on People and Giving Back,” Joe Holley, The Washington Post.