One bitter cold day earlier this year, wind chill temperatures dropped to 50 below in Chicago. Rather than send the route service representatives out on their own to deliver work uniforms and supplies, Roscoe CEO Jim Buik and other senior managers jumped on the trucks in the early morning hours to help speed the deliveries and get everyone out of the cold a little sooner.
It was so cold in the trucks that some workers put hand warmers in their boots.
It was no ordinary winter day, even for Chicago, but it was an illustration of the kind of teamwork practiced at Roscoe all year round. Teamwork is part of the culture, which is just one of the reasons why the average tenure of a Roscoe route service representative is over 13 years, while the industry average among national providers is about 18 months.
And while customers may not have noticed anything different about their delivery service on one frigid morning, you can be sure they notice the difference that having a long-tenured delivery driver makes to their service.
That sort of culture doesn’t just happen, as Roscoe CEO Jim Buik wrote in the February issue of Textile Services Magazine, published by the TRSA, a national trade organization of the linen, uniform and facility services industry where Buik serves as chairman.
“Creating a culture that allows your team members to produce service that differentiates you in the marketplace is no accident,” Buik writes. “It takes planning, focused execution and the dedication of your entire leadership team – but it has to start with the CEO.”
The Key to a Great Company Culture
Buik cites Daniel Coyle’s book, “The Culture Code,” which explores the issue of where great culture comes from, how to build one, and how to sustain one if you already have it. Roscoe managers have been meeting to discuss the themes in the book as part of a company-wide effort to understand and nurture the roots of the culture established at Roscoe. Discussion groups have focused on key concepts in the book including:
- Listening intently with an aim toward encouragement
- Letting people know that they matter
- Encouraging members of the team to support each other and work as a group
- Embracing out-of-the-box thinking
- Failures should be examined for improvement, not for shame. How can we do it better next time?
Reward Performance and Provide Training
Rewarding good performance and coaching for change are great ways to develop the talent of team members, Buik writes. “Talking to your team members about their goals and aspirations, then supporting them with training opportunities are sure ways to help them take the next step in their careers.” It’s also the key to happy customers. Excellent customer service begins with employees who feel supported, respected and valued season after season. At Roscoe, that’s not just a fair weather promise. It’s part of the culture. Call us or click on the link below to learn more about the difference that can make in your work uniform program.
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