Do you know if your customers are happy? How about your employees? Happiness is often tied to the environment in which we work or live, our sense of value and the relationships we’ve built. Pine Instrument Company President, Joe Hines, reminds us that “it is our customers who keep our lights on.” That simple yet powerful statement puts everything into perspective. A company cannot exist without customers….and customers necessitate people (employees) who provide goods and services. The acquisition of happy customers and happy employees require an abundance of resources; retaining them requires an even higher degree of commitment.
For most people, life and circumstance have a tendency to cause distraction and can cloud our purpose. Regardless of the distraction, our customers, colleagues, family and friends always deserve the best version of ourselves. When we are happy, our work improves, our relationships grow, our attitudes become infectious, and our customer/employee interactions thrive. But how is one’s happiness and satisfaction achieved and sustained in a workplace? One theory is company culture, which is integral in nearly every area of a business – and can be a reflection of employee morale. In unhealthy work cultures, employees can struggle to find value in their work which is likely to cause dissatisfaction and unhappiness. The people with whom we work and spend the most time, often shape who we are. Research from Harvard social psychologist, Dr. David McClelland, found that the people we habitually associate with determines as much as 95% of our success or failure in life.
If corporate culture promotes employee happiness or dissatisfaction which then contributes to the customer’s experience, shouldn’t culture be the focus in every company? Organizations that dismiss the importance of company culture and are bottom-line focused tend to experience higher employee turnover, absenteeism, tardiness and burnout; all of which can impact profitability and jeopardize customer satisfaction.
Pine Instrument Company has always been known in the local and business communities for having a strong and desirable culture. Last December, employees listened attentively at the company Christmas luncheon where Joe Hines, second generation owner, shared the story of PINE. It covered five decades of history that included the early days of how the company was formed and how it grew. He provided a perspective that only the son of the company’s founder could. Continuing his father’s legacy, Joe summarized his observation and belief of PINE’s success - past, present, and future - in five simple points. Joe stated that we are successful when we:
Lead with Compassion
Follow with Respect
Interact with Integrity
Labor with Diligence
Invest with Wisdom
How’s that for a mission statement?! No multi-session consults with expensive firms or endless hours with senior management were needed to determine what Joe clearly nailed by simply being honest, authentic, and observant. It was the deeply rooted culture that helped percolate those five points that define the employees of PINE. Corporate culture has the dangerous power to thwart employee motivation. But, it can also promote empowerment which in-turn can capitalize on employee knowledge, creativity and energy. In either case, both will undoubtedly have an impact on your customers. Take the time to assess your work environment and culture. It takes just one person to make positive change. Then watch and enjoy the effect YOU can have on your customers, colleagues, employees, family and friends.