By Russ Levanway, CEO
Before takeoff on a commercial flight, the flight attendants routinely ask that “in the unlikely event that the cabin experiences a loss of pressure, please put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others.” This concept is a popular one among life coaches and inspirational speakers because it emphasizes the importance of self-care; you can’t help anyone else unless you’ve taken care of yourself first. A company or organization is no different.
You may remember when I wrote in June about how TekTegrity spent a year re-writing its mission and core values, followed by an adjustment of the company’s organizational structure to facilitate a more mission-driven culture. These were oxygen-mask days of focusing on internal change and growth. The result of our deep work was an accurate, memorable mission – “productivity enhanced, lives enriched” – and our four core values of trust, tenacity, growth and camaraderie.
Well, that strategy was so 2015, and now we’re looking ahead to 2016 and coming up with new ways to drive our core values from the inside out.
To do this, we are creating spaces where clients can be more engaged with TekTegrity and offer meaningful feedback. So, this past September, we invited a diverse group of our clients to comprise a Client Advisory Committee that meets twice annually to ensure that the internal work of staying our mission is projected outward first to our clients and vendors, and then to the community at large.
Trust + Tenacity
When we asked our Client Advisory Committee to describe TekTegrity in one word, without knowing our core values, trust and tenacity both came up. This was, of course, major validation for us because it showed that the cultural growth we were experiencing inside TekTegrity’s walls was becoming obvious on the outside, too.
But that left the values of growth and camaraderie. We heard from one client at the meeting that said that it’s sometimes hard to build a relationship with a technician because most of our support at TekTegrity is conducted remotely.
She gave an example about an employee at her company who was having specific issues and was frustrated by working with what felt like a faceless TekTegrity technician. But, when that technician eventually met the employee in person, and worked side-by-side with him, suddenly that frustration melted away and a champion of TekTegrity was born. We needed to hear that story so we could really understand the value of making sure all of our clients feel like they know us and truly believe we’re in their corner.
That said, since we’ve found face time is key to building camaraderie with our clients, we’re breaking down the barriers of being nameless techs behind the phone by kicking off a new biannual event. We’re calling it $5 Food Truck Friday.
Twice a year, we’re inviting all of our clients to join us at our SLO headquarters for the lunch hour from 12-1 for a delicious $5 meal at a gourmet food truck and a chance to come hang out with us, see our faces, share some laughs. (If you haven’t yet received your invitation to the January 8th event, let us know!) And if we get a good turnout and the interest is there, we’ll bring the event to Fresno in 2017.
And last but not least of the four core values, we end on growth. The way we define growth isn’t company growth but rather the company’s commitment to supporting personal growth through the improvement and nurturing of skills, talents and character.
We do this in many different ways at TekTegrity, but one of the key ways is during our daily 15-minute “Standup” meetings where the technicians and leadership share issues, answer a question of the day to get to know each other better, and most importantly, share kudos with the team. We share kudos from clients, but we also give kudos to each other to bolster everyone up for a productive and positive workday.
And we would like to open our doors to you, dear clients, to join us once a month for a Standup meeting so you can deliver your insights to our team, accept a kudos from us, or maybe just share your answer to the question of the day. At the very least we may learn your favorite ice cream flavor, which could come in handy one day.
Here’s to a fruitful, purposeful and meaningful new year, and I look forward to seeing you at the food truck, or giving you a high-five at a Standup meeting.