How to Build a Culture of Trust
With more than 3000 Team Members nationwide serving customers in 14 states, 4M Building Solutions has earned a reputation for having one of the best corporate cultures in the janitorial industry. President Tim Murch often lectures about the importance of building cultures of trust that extend throughout a company and outward to the clients and communities a firm serves.
Contractor Connections, an online publication of The Building Service Contractors Association (BSCAI), recently spoke with Tim about the importance of building a culture of trust within your company. Following is an excerpt from that interview:
BSCAI: What are the one or two keys to building a culture of trust in a company or organization?
TIM: Right is right and wrong is wrong. When you’re right, stand up for yourself. When you’re wrong, admit it, deal with it and make it right. It’s especially important, as a leader, to let all of your Team Members know they can count on you no matter what. We also have an open book policy where we share financials. We empower all of our operators to run their own book of business, which is a huge amount of trust that we give them that they value and appreciate.
BSCAI: What is the most common mistake that you see other companies make in trying to build a culture of trust?
TIM: A common mistake is poor communication. You have to constantly be messaging and communicating your expectations. And if there’s something that changes, you really need to over communicate that and over explain it so the team understands why we’re making a change and buys into it.
BSCAI: What are “ghost” employees?
TIM: Ghost employees are people on the payroll that don’t actually work. It could be somebody who was terminated who was never taken out of the system, or it could be a relative or friend of the manager. The best way to prevent ghost employees is by doing unannounced payroll audits on site. It’s a proactive procedure.
BSCAI: How can a company extend its culture of trust to its clients?
TIM: We have to do what we say we’re going to do. Follow up, follow up, follow up! This builds trust and integrity with your clients. It’s about never putting them into a position where they have to ask about something. You need to beat them to punch. When you turn a negative into a positive by your immediate response and your urgency, the client is going to look at you in a much higher regard. Sometimes a bad situation can build a stronger rapport and sense of trust with your customers by the way you handle it.
BSCAI: Are there any techniques or training tools that 4M has implemented that have proven successful in creating a culture of trust?
TIM: We’re really, really big into culture. It starts in the interview process and making sure we have a right fit. We also do a tremendous amount of training and onboarding. We have an online, in-house training program that is very extensive. We talk a lot about culture and what differentiates us. We also do companywide messaging to all of our regions every other month. It’s a live broadcast that is recorded and can be shared online.
BSCAI: What drives you? What do you consider to be the favorite part of your job?
TIM: I’m a very competitive individual by nature. Winning is very important to me. When you’re winning, you’re building. I also enjoy seeing all of our Team Members grow and prosper with their success and leadership.
BSCAI: What do you still find a challenge?
TIM: Labor! If it were easy, our customers would all be cleaning their own buildings. There are also all of the labor-related issues and government regulations that make it harder to do business. You have to play the cards your dealt, make the best of them, and the world will see that the cream rises with our innovative solutions.
Tim will be a featured speaker at BSCAI’s upcoming Contracting Success 2018 Conference in Dallas. On the topic of “Big Problems and How to Avoid Them,” Tim will discuss past-due accounts and collections as well as Team Member recruiting and retention.
As one of the largest janitorial-related service providers in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States, 4M Building Solutions delivers the best, innovative, safe and sustainable cleaning and service solutions for your business. To learn more, give us a call or CLICK HERE to contact us.