As business owners, it’s easy to forget the impact we have on those we employ.
The recent number of sexual harassment claims making news can easily dissuade you to believe, most business/work environments are wrought with negativity.
Invited to one of my customers Christmas Parties for the second year in a row, (thank you BE-CI!) the people I sat with, a table full of BE-CI employees, were adamant about the impact the company they work for has made on their life.
If you’re a business owner, I’m sure you can relate to the following story from an employee at my table.
A Christmas Story
Brian and his family attended the BE-CI Christmas weekend celebration compliments of BE-CI. He related his previous work experiences for several other companies, including how he had taken, Joseph Ferrell, on his first site visit, initiating him into the business. Joseph and Brian eventually pursued careers with other firms. In April of 2013 Brian joined up again with Joseph, now a BE-CI owner and executive team member at BE-CI’s Houston location. Shortly thereafter Brian was promoted to branch manager in Dallas-Fort Worth. Brian shared his personal challenges that occurred several years earlier. One night, he and his wife awoke to discover their first born, Alden (now 10 years old) was having a seizure. Visiting doctors, trying various medications to help their son, they began accumulating a lot of debt. After their second was born, Zachary (now 8), he too began to have seizures. Pursuing treatment got very expensive. At the height of their challenge, he and his wife had over $40,000 in debts. They had maxed out several credit cards due to the high cost of prescriptions and medical care.
At that point he teared up. He struggled to continue his story.
“This year, with the bonus check I just received last evening, for the first time, my wife and I will be able to pay off our credit debt completely” The joy in Brian’s face was concealed by the tears and emotion he shared.
He is eternally grateful to BE-CI for helping him obtain this financial freedom goal.
Brian’s story reminded me of the compelling presentation Bob Chapman shared at the San Antonio Growth Summit in May. In Management to Leadership – Bob Chapman – San Antonio ScaleUp Summit Chapman shared his unique view of leadership and why he feels management is manipulation.
Chapman’s company, Barry-Wehmiller Companies, guiding principle is “We measure success by the way we touch the lives of people.”
Based on this measure, BE-CI is successful.
Your business, every business, impacts our employees lives more than we recognize. As Chapman pointed out, “The person you report to at work is more important to their health than your family doctor.” (Recent Research from Mayo Clinic)
Ask yourself to measure your business as Chapman does at Barry-Wehmiller Companies. Chapman’s new measure for lean is a reduction of divorce in his employees. “How we treat our people affects how they treat their family.”
Chapman’s insights, “The most important thing in raising children is a good marriage. The Way we’re sending people home is not teaching the value of relationship.”
Your business has the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution on the people who work for you. As Kaihan Krippendorff (Outthinker Process) notes. “Great companies solve problems that Matter.”
Is your company achieving this with your employees?
The past year, one of BE-CI’s objectives was to identify their Core Values. Every company has core values, whether they’ve been identified or not. They are always alive in the culture and in how people behave. At BE-CI, the companies core values have been alive since their founder Jim Fell started the business.
It is fitting, this same evening, BE-CI awarded their first Core Value award to one of their employees. The award is named after the company’s founder, Jim Fell.
This night, Rachel, was the first to receive the JIM FELL Core Values Award, for exemplifying the values you see here.
BE-CI’s 20 MILE MARCH
In Core Values in Action we share an exercise to help your business make sure your Core Values are alive in your business.
At our annual planning and strategy meeting last November, BE-CI’s leadership team sensed they were asking their staff to work a lot of hours. As you can see from their Core Values, Balance is an important part of their culture. In Great By Choice, Jim Collins provided a number of principles that help 10X company’s achieve greatness. One of these is having a 20 Mile March. (See The 20 Mile March Discipline – Great by Choice)
BE-CI had a 20 Mile March, to open a new location every year. They’d succeeded in achieving this objective every year since identifying it as their 20 Mile March. The climate in the meeting however suggested that in achieving this goal, perhaps they risked burning out their people.
After great deliberation, the executive leadership team determined they needed a new 20 Mile March, focused on ensuring their team members were not being overworked. Mike Fell, the team’s president, did research, and with this intention in mind, set a high and low metric, directed at balancing the work hours of BE-CI employees. The leadership team set this as their theme and One Thing for 2017, knowing full well it would throttle back growth and revenues.
At the Friday night Annual Huddle, BE-CI conducts a 90 minute meeting to update all employees on the progress the company made towards their Annual Goals and 20 Mile March. Mike Fell shared their progress: reducing employee’s average hours worked by two full hours a week!
BE-CI’s Core Values are alive and intentionally being followed by their leadership.
Employee & Customer Feedback
How often do you collect employee and customer feedback? If it’s not weekly, your business is missing an opportunity to derail and solve problems, improve relationships to grow your business!
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Next Blog – You Don’t Need Much Discipline, You Need A HabitIs it time for your New Year’s resolutions? As the author of Strategic Discipline’s blog, it’s difficult for me to admit discipline isn’t as important as habit. You need discipline to set habits – it’s why we refer to Strategic Discipline as Creating a Winning Habit. You may be confused (as I was) what discipline is, how It works, how you can use it to achieve your 2018 New Year’s resolution. We’ll explain what discipline is, how it works with your Will and habits, and how you can use it to achieve success in 2018, next blog.