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Creating a Unique and Sustainable Company Culture: Part 2

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Author: Aaron Steed

Contact Aaron Steed

Tags: Corporate Culture, Entrepreneurialism, Leadership


It’s been a while since our last blog about creating a unique and sustainable culture. To get ready for this blog, I sat down and started jotting down aspects of our Meathead culture to identify what I was going to focus on for Part Two. As the thoughts poured onto paper, I started noticing a common thread: Positive, permanent change comes from win-win-wins.  A new initiative (Princess Packers), process (EXTREME Pad Wrapping), or incentive program (Injury Prevention Parties) will only work if it TRULY benefits the employees, the customers, and the company. If one of the three groups does not benefit, the new initiative/process/or incentive just won’t stick. No matter how good of an idea it is, no matter how HARD you work to make it happen, it just won’t.

So how can you make sure that new efforts at your company meet this three prong test?

It’s pretty easy to see if something new makes sense for the company. Financial projections and analysis of whether it’s a good fit with non-monetary resources of the company (staff, equipment, systems) should always be done thoroughly and as a first step. If it passes this analysis, move on to the next to prongs of the test. These are more ambiguous, and require a more thoughtful pondering.

While I can never speak for my customers, I do know that if our focus is to incentivize employee behavior and create services that customers will appreciate, I can’t go wrong.  An incentive that makes your employees excited and makes financial sense for the company still isn’t worth anything if your customers don’t see the value or benefit of the incented behavior. For example, sometimes it doesn’t make sense for our customers to use a full service move with packing and un-packing, therefore, we don’t incentivize our sales team based on gross revenue dollars sold. This means customers can expect sincere and genuine advice from our Move Coordinators, and will not get a high ticket move shoved at them in a high pressure sales situation.  This is reinforced by one of our Meathead Philosophy points: “Inform customers of the facts for they will make the best decisions for themselves.” I also know that by paying attention to the needs of our customers—specifically—the needs we can fulfill in a practical sense when creating new services, we will always make them happy. That is exactly how Meathead Mini Storage and Princess Packers came to be, and trust me, our customers are LOVING both!

Finally, how do you make sure you are creating something that your employees will be excited about and work hard on? A couple ways: create a path for promotion. The more clear and defined promotion is for the employee and, the more an employee feels he/she is empowered to get promoted the better performance a company will get from the RIGHT EMPLOYEE. We look for strong, competitive, capable achievers with great attitudes then we train them to become expert movers and packers. You can bet from the very first interview for Princess Packers, we laid out the path to promotion. That makes a solid difference in getting your employees to buy in on a new service or process. Another way is bringing a little fun into the day to day. It’s the little things that make a big difference. Every month, the studliest Meathead from each branch is selected by the Operations Manager based upon customer reviews, attitude, no damage to items and reviews from other employees. The winner gets a coveted “STUD SHIRT” these shirts are earned, not sold and never handed out. Only 12 shirts a year are received and anyone working at Meathead Movers can earn it (managers, workers and everything in between). It creates a fun competition that breeds excellence. 

I’d love to hear how YOU create positive, permanent change in your life and/or company.

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