The importance of a company’s culture cannot be understated. It affects employee performance, which in turn has a direct impact on a company’s customers.
The educational session, titled “Communication is vital in establishing an ‘excellent company culture’” and held Oct. 19 at the National Pest Management Association‘s PestWorld 2016, illustrated why pest management professionals (PMPs) should care about their company’s culture.
Rich McHale, vice president of JP McHale Pest Management Inc., Buchanan, N.J. told the PMPs who packed the room that their businesses are operating in a fishbowl. Your company culture is on display for everyone – your customers, your community, your vendors – to see, he said.
“How do you create a powerful culture? It starts with the leaders,” McHale said.
A company leader who demonstrates loyalty, integrity, values, ethics and passion likely will have employees who do the same. But PMPs should not become complacent.
“Once you get satisfied, you stink,” he said. “You always want to better yourself. That will shine through your business.”
McHale explained company culture should reflect a company’s mission statement. But beware the company culture that develops in branches and department. It won’t be a problem if employees follow the mission statement the company owners established, however.
“Keep your finger on the pulse of all the subcultures that develop in your company,” McHale said.
Communication is critical; without it, a company would have none of these: service, clients, employees and money, he added.
Establishing committees are a good way to encourage communication among employees because they get everyone involved, make work fun, offer different perspectives and provide accountability.
It’s important to communicate with the community, too. “As you grow, make sure you give back,” he said. “It’s good for morale all the way around.’
There are right and wrong ways to communicate with customers. Don’t ever email a customer who has a complaint; it’s best to call them instead. And when a customer relates a complaint you’ve heard more than once, make it seem like it’s the first time you’ve ever heard it. Follow up with every customer who complains. McHale said it’s impossible to communicate too much with a dissatisfied customer, however he advised against using email, text messages and social media.
McHale wrapped up his session by sharing a testimonial from a customer who was impressed with one of his techs. She was amazed by his positive attitude and obvious love for his job. It seems the tech told the customer about the recent company picnic, the birthday card the owners sent him and the complementary life insurance. She said companies often don’t do the right thing by their employees anymore, so she figured if JP McHale Pest Management treats their its employees right, it must treat its customers right, too.
McHale told the PMPs in the crowd they could build an excellent company culture every day.
“Happy employees equal happy clients,” he said.