Recently, RBB codified our company behaviors. Every employee, regardless of position or length of service, has an obligation to act according to these standards.
The real advantage of having a documented list of behavioral standards is that it helps to address ‘fit’ issues. People who can’t or won’t sign up to live by these behaviors stick out like a sore thumb; they don’t last long. We have a robust hiring process that attracts only the best players – but we don’t know how they actually behave until they get into the job and begin interacting with teammates and customers.
Note that we did not write a code of conduct that we aspire to have. We simply wrote down what we already do… and ended up with a list of 21 items! We divided them into three subsets: how we treat customers, our personal conduct, and how we work together. In this 3-part blog series we will share each subset.
We Move Heaven & Earth:
We recognize that obstacles arise in satisfying our customer needs. We climb over, break down, or go around these barriers on a daily basis. We embrace requests and opportunities simply because they are new or different – because this is where our value is most felt.
We Swarm to the Need:
When a customer, the business, or an employee is facing a challenge we swarm to the task together. We don't wait to be asked; we take initiative and jump into the fray with confidence, knowing that when our turn for help comes, it will be there. We know what we do and why we do it: We provide the best service and value through small batch excellence.
We Offer Options:
Customers are never villains. We are not victims. We create multiple possible solutions to customer problems and actively avoid backing customers into corners. We solve their problems, not the other way around.
We Encourage Customers:
In the event of a mistake we explain, we find good remedies, and when necessary and reasonable we charge them to correct the mistake.
Some may read the above list and wonder whether adding this structure to their electronics manufacturing environments is worth the trouble, since these look pretty obvious. RBB’s experience in having a formalized list of standards has been both subtle and profound.
Subtle in that major cultural changes have not been felt either internally or externally. Profound in that reinforcing these standards gives us a powerful and easy way to hold each other accountable as we go about our daily work of serving customers. RBB-ers keep an eye out and an ear open for examples of when we are living these behaviors. In the rare case when we don’t, we now have an unambiguous common language to get back on track quickly.
In Part 2 of this series, we will explore the personal conduct side of things. Stay tuned.
Bruce loves to manage change and to encourage working environments where employees and customers thrive. His passion led him to found Building Trust, LLC – a highly practical leadership, trust and communication training firm and blog. He’s a noted speaker, author, active church member and community volunteer. Bruce has led RBB since 2001, becoming Owner in 2007.