Ken Hutcheson On What It Means To Abide By The Same Rules And Standards To Work For The Same Goal
It’s a standard within our culture.
Every business has a mission statement and a set of values. Many have them listed on a plaque which hangs unread, on a faraway wall; others, like us, are more actively committed to living those values.
Here at U.S. Lawns, we are obligated to put our culture into practice because with our geographically diverse team, we’ve got to make sure that everyone sees and shares our vision.
This is the reason we must work by the same rules and standards, towards the same goal–we’ve got to take our newest gardener, newest franchisee, or newest Home Office employee and somehow communicate why they’re really here. We’ve got to show them the big picture.
This is not just limited to employees either. It moves and expands into the circles of our customers and business partners too.
Make them see our vision and want the same result.
So, how can we make sure they see our vision? How can they want the same end result? How do we get them to carry out our mission?
In our case, we’ve got an advantage because our mission is so simple. Yet, so powerful.
So simple. Yet, so powerful
This mission being 100% Customer Retention. It’s the very simplicity that makes it easier to share across cultures, geography and language.
You’ve also got to consider this: a true mission is far more than just a goal or an ideal. It must be something we work for intentionally every day. When you have clear purpose, it’ll be obvious to those people around you; not just your employees, but everybody in your community.
You can’t fake a true mission.
Think of all the times you’ve been misled. Here’s a big one, you take your car to the dealership to be serviced early one morning. You’re greeted by employees with bright smiles on their faces who’re doing everything you expected when you bought your car there two years ago…But (and there should never be a “but”), while they’re smiling, they’re giving you the bad news that the loaner car they promised in their advertisement is not available; it may be two days before your car will be done; and by the way, there are some unexpected add-on costs.
They’re not representing the same mission the company is communicating, and believe me, people notice.
U.S. Lawns’ mission is sincere.
You can’t fake a mission like 100% Customer Retention, and the best part is, when the customer knows how much they’re really valued, they’re going to value that relationship in return. When the employee knows how much they’re valued, they will value that relationship in return. When the vendor knows how much we value our customer, when they know that we expect 100% of our customers to be satisfied, they’re going to step up and deliver.
This goes full circle back to making sure your customers, business partners, and your employees see your vision–and here’s the crucial part–and want the same result. If they don’t, they should not be an employee, a customer or a business partner.
Now, as we have for over thirty years, we continue to remain steadfast in pursuit of our mission. How do we get there? We talk about it, we act on it, we let everybody know that that’s what our goal is, and we do it with passion and consistency. That’s what we mean by “abide by the same rules and standards to work for the same goal.”