As I move into the next chapter in my life, retirement, I have been asked to look back at my career in Outsourcing and share my lessons learned. Well, here goes.
Early in my MAU career, we looked at our vision for MAU Outsourcing so I will share my thoughts related to this vision, good or bad.
Commitment to Safety
One thing that I have been proud of related to MAU has been our focus on safety.
In Outsourcing, I discovered that it is a lot easier to drive our safety culture in a house where our client shares our commitment to safety. It was an honor and a privilege to share that safety mindset with some world-class companies. But we learn a lot more from our failures than from our successes, so let’s talk about “opportunities” going forward.
The opportunity we have every day is to consistently make lives better by continuing to furnish the safest work environment possible. We should never lower our standards, and we should never be satisfied if we feel our workers are safer than other workers.
What have YOU done today to improve our company’s safety culture?
What can you do tomorrow?
We can make lives better by making for a safer working environment.
Culture of Accountability
Does everyone truly know what it means to hold someone accountable?
We tend to focus on discipline and the negative aspect of it. There is also a positive discipline where we hold our Associates accountable for the good things that they are doing, too. I admit that I thought recognition programs had faded into the sunset, and boy, was I wrong. We held our first recognition event back in 2012, and seeing the look on our Associates’ faces when they were being recognized was worth every penny that we spent on the event. Now, it’s time to work to sustain that type of recognition across the company, across all our sites, including branches. Even a specific thank you for a job well done goes a long way.
Finally, we need to make sure that we hold our Managers accountable for putting in processes to make our Associates successful. We should focus lesson finger pointing and more on improving our processes. When there is an issue, a red condition, treat it as an opportunity for coaching.
Operational Discipline/Operational Excellence
As a “staffing” company, we can use this focus to differentiate us from our competition. That sounds good, but what does it mean? The word discipline comes from the Latin word
disciplina, which refers to teaching and learning.
I have been truly pleased by the efforts of our hourly workforce. When we provide the right level of leadership and organizational structure focused on continually improving processes, we go a long way towards operational excellence.
This should be the easiest, but it can also be the most challenging.
Early in my MAU career, I made a big mistake. Someone told me that it was more important that our Associates know who I was than for me to know who
theywere. Of course, having an ego I went along with what I thought was good advice. WRONG! It was the worst advice that I ever followed.
Know your Associates, know something about them and treat them not the way that you would like to be treated. Know them well enough to treat them the way they would like to be treated. There is no greater pleasure than walking into one of our client facilities and seeing MAU Associates enjoying their jobs. That enjoyment is our responsibility as leaders.
Exceptional Customer Service
I really see this last point broken down into two pieces:
1) Relentless focus on the elimination of waste (lean) through a continuous improvement focus throughout our company.
2) It is all about our client relationships. We are not the low cost provider, so we need to be the best at providing exceptional customer service.
In Outsourcing, we have the opportunity to truly focus on our lean journey. We need to continue to provide the tools and the structure to make it happen. I have loved our Trust Building development and when we are able to take our lessons learned and apply it to our relationships with our clients, then we are on the right path.
We need our clients to trust us, and we also need to gain their trust through our actions.
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