Since Sign Brothers started in 2007, we’ve strived to be a business that pushes our team members to be better people and that adds value to our customers and our community. To do that, we specified five core values that would serve as guideposts to make sure we never put short term gain above providing lasting value. This blog post is part of a series of posts breaking down each of our core values. In our first three posts we covered our core values: “Integrity,” “Quality,” and “Do What’s Best For The Customer.” This post will break down our fourth core value: “Help Your Fellow Man.” In this post we’ll be looking at where this core value comes from, why we chose this core value as our fourth core value, and how this core value impacts our day to day operations from our highest level leadership making company decisions to our newest team members. Let’s dive in…
The Importance of Workplace Satisfaction
These days, workplace satisfaction has solidified itself as an important factor among business leadership circles. It’s easy for terms like “workplace satisfaction” to conjure up images of open office spaces, workplace nap rooms, and all the other popularized features of workplaces like Google and Apple. While creating an office space like a fortune 500 tech company isn’t practical for the vast majority of businesses, making workplace satisfaction a priority and a reality is.
According to a study by Gallup Inc. psychological scientist James K. Harter:
“…employee work perceptions predict important organizational outcomes — if employees have positive perceptions of their jobs, their organizations benefit via higher employee retention, increased customer loyalty, and improved financial outcomes.”
It’s easy for people to default to a self focused outlook in a workplace environment. When this happens:
- Tasks and responsibilities that aren’t explicitly in someone’s job description can be left unfinished and forgotten causing huge inefficiencies and oversights
- Communication between teams and coworkers can become infrequent or even tense as each person tries to only focus on a select few tasks that they see as their responsibility and avoid tasks that they see as impediments to what they are supposed to or want to be doing.
- The workplace can become a competitive and/or lonely environment where people are trying to dump unpleasant tasks on other people
- Certain people that want to be productive can get overworked and burned out while others skate by doing the bare minimum. This can create turnover and make the whole company much less productive as a whole.
How A Culture of Helpfulness Impacts Our Company
Our core value, “Help Your Fellow Man,” is about creating an environment where no one is an island. While we have roles and responsibilities, and hold people accountable to those roles and responsibilities, we also want to be the kind of people that are aware of what’s going on around us and are never too consumed in our own personal goals and to do lists that we can’t open our eyes, see that someone else is drowning, or there’s a greater company need around us, and quickly and enthusiastically pick up the slack.
“Help Your Fellow Man” isn’t just about getting everyone to work as hard as possible to increase the bottom line. It’s about creating a culture of collaboration and servant leadership, where no one is too good to do what needs to be done, and people are comfortable asking for help because they know people around them are willing to step up when needed. Here’s a word from Sign Brothers co-founder Justin Seibert on where this core value comes from and how it plays out at Sign Brothers:
“I grew up playing football and the thing that I miss the most now that those days are gone is the camaraderie and the bond that exists with your team. Shoulder to shoulder, battling alongside your fellow teammates forges bonds with others that last for years or a lifetime. This is the type of environment that we try to foster at our company. Many former employees stop by to say hello, and I’ve heard from no less than 20 former employees that this was the best place they ever worked. This brings so much joy to my heart! For better or worse, you spend more waking hours at work than at home, and this is why we’ve always tried to create an environment that encourages teamwork and friendships.
When things get busy, it’s not uncommon to find designers working in the production department, project managers jumping in to help with installation, and owners in the paint booth to help meet the needs of our clients. As a custom manufacturing company, we strive for everyone to be cross trained in multiple areas so that we can flex as needed to meet our workloads. To see this in action is special; everyone bands together to push towards the execution of a big deadline. Collectively we work to fulfill our promises, and this creates a special bond amongst our staff.
There is so much coordination that goes into manufacturing a single sign. To start with an idea, which becomes a design on a computer screen, and then to manufacture it to the correct specifications, and finally to install it in the correct location requires a lot of people communicating well and executing their job flawlessly. “Help Your Fellow Man” means to realize that the work that you do will either positively or negatively affect the next person in the chain. Execute your job in a way that makes the next person’s job easier and provides a better finished product. Take care of each other, treat everyone the way that you would like to be treated. It makes this life so much more enjoyable to live!”