I believe that the heart of creating customer delight begins with our people. It is necessary to create a company culture that thrives on making customers smile. Easier said than done, I know. I’ll admit, when I began as CEO in 2008, there were several acquisitions and our technicians felt disjointed from the corporate office.
Something needed to be done.
So we set out on a cultural transformation to make our company a place where people liked to work and had access to the resources they needed to make customers happy by launching our People First initiative. People First is not just about being nice to people. Here’s how it works…
We first identified the work behaviors or characteristics we believed necessary to be the type of business we wanted to be. We call these core competencies, and we now look for these in our hiring process, build upon them in our training, and reward them in our benefits and compensation.
Second, we introduced our People Pledge that promises to employees they will get the right support and work in the best atmosphere when everyone lives the core competencies.
This is our “People Pledge”:
• You’ll experience great leadership. You’ll be treated with respect. You’ll often be asked for your opinions and involved in decisions that affect your work. You’ll understand the big picture and your role in it. You’ll receive guidance to help you reach your full potential and you’ll be recognized for your hard work in delivering extraordinary results.
• We focus on you first. Concentrating on our people is a key part of our business strategy. You’ll have the tools, the information and resources to position you for success, along with support and opportunity for a rewarding and fulfilling career.
• We hire top talent… that includes you. Having great people is what sets us apart from the rest. You’ll work with smart people every day who will inspire you to be at your best. By brining your ideas and applying your skills, you’ll have endless opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.
• You’ll work in a caring culture. We have a strong set of values and a big heart… for our people, our customers, our environment and the communities in which we live and work. We strive for a culture that will inspire you to achieve… not just because you have to, but because you want to.
This “People Pledge” helps us to have highly engaged employees. And research shows employee engagement is integral to customer satisfaction:
• 70 percent of engaged employees feel they have a good understanding of customer service in comparison to just 17 percent of non-engaged workers, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
• 75 percent of highly engaged employees think they can reduce costs and improve customer service and quality, according to Towers Perrin.
A cultural transformation takes much more than a pledge – to read about our strategy for driving change, please check out our white paper from Senior Vice President of HR and Leadership Development, Steve Miggo.
Then, tell me about ways your organization creates an engaging company culture!