Employee Manual - Core Values Section

The client wanted a standard employee manual to cover his small manufacturing business operations, but he also wanted to add a company-specific chapter on core values that featured pithy quotes aligned with those values. We talked in depth several times about the content and concepts he wanted included. The section I wrote was based on those interviews and is excerpted below.

Core Values Overview

 

The Core Values a company establishes is really a set of priorities.  These values represent what the company stands for and the way it intends to do business.  You can tell a lot about a company by its core values, and its success in executing those values.

At ATM Master, our core values reflect not only how we will respect and conduct business with our customers, they reflect how we will respect and treat each other. We believe that as members of this organization, we can benefit as greatly as our customers in taking the high road in safety, customer service (including each other as customers), integrity, attitude and accountability; efficiency, and innovation.

 

We also believe that integrity, adaptability, flexibility, and working smart underlie all our actions to bring increased satisfaction to our customers and ourselves.

We have committed to these values and make them a part of everything we do. We believe this will benefit all parties – our customers, our employees, and our communities.

Our Values

 

Safety

Our goal is to never compromise the safety of people, property, or the environment.

 

Customer Service

We are committed to creating an environment where providing customers with excellent service, high quality products, and on-time delivery - - every time. We are committed to striving to exceed customer expectations.

Integrity, Attitude and Accountability

We do not believe “business ethics” is a contradiction in terms. We are ethical, honest, reliable, and accountable. We deserve trust, respect, and loyalty because that is how we treat others.

Efficiency and Innovation

We are always looking for a better way to accomplish tasks and reach goals leads to innovation. Working smart and effectively are the cornerstones of efficiency.

Recognition

We celebrate our accomplishments, associates, customers, teams, and our company.

 

Safety

 Our goal is to never compromise the safety of people, property, or the environment.

 

The first of our core values is Safety. ATM Master is committed to conducting all our official activities in a safe and environmentally sound manner. We are also committed to conscientiously aligning our production processes, shop and office activities, and the performance of our products and services with safety as our first priority.

Our safety program is central to the overall business philosophy. We expect 100% participation by all employees in maintaining excellence in safety and environmental responsibilities. We will do our best to provide proper equipment and continuous safety training as we strive to achieve an accident-free workplace.

Research shows that accidents seldom have only one cause. More often they result from a combination of human and equipment issues. The best way to avoid accidents  is to operate equipment and conduct activities in the shop or office in the safest way possible. Our goal is to prevent injuries to our employees and clients and keep property and the facility secure. We also strive to provide products that will be safe to use and will be consistently reliable.

ATM Master employees should be constantly guided by the principle that all accidents and injuries can be prevented. No job is so important, no service so urgent, that we can’t take the time to perform our work safely. 

 

Customer Service

We are committed to creating an environment where providing customers with excellent service, high quality products, and on-time delivery - - every time.

We are committed to striving to exceed customer expectations.

 

The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to continue. The one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly is: “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”

”Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
- Walt Disney

Disney is a master at creating loyalty and trust, and in developing relationships and good memories. They use the element of surprise to create happiness, and in turn they create more opportunities for growing their corporation.

”Well done is better than well said.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.

Put yourself in their place. Use the resources we have to put customer first without compromising integrity and other values.

”You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That’s the mark of a true professional. Professionalism has nothing to do with getting paid for your services.”
- Joe Paterno

Susan Ward at her website About.com provides several simple but valuable Rules for Good Customer Service – Good Customer Service Made Simple. Excerpts include:

1) Answer your phone and don’t put your caller on hold if you can help it. Keep “hold” to a minimum.

2) Don’t make promises unless you WILL keep them. Think before you make promises because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception.

3) Listen to customers and deal with their complaints.  You may not be able to please everyone all the time, but if you give the customer your complete attention, you may be able to please one person one time and build rapport for positive business relations in the future. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.

4) Be helpful - even if there’s no immediate profit in it. Treat everyone as our number one customer. One of our biggest customers started as a small account of only 2 ATMs. That customer took hundreds of hours in time, mining us for information and assurance. We could have shrugged him off as a thorn in the side, but we didn’t, and now he is a loyal customer with a total account of about $2 million.

Every customer is a potential partner in a much larger scheme. Our product is the vehicle for business exchange for others, which turns into the vehicle for our own business.  Keep a broader perspective in mind -- Go above and beyond because each customer is special. We want to be known as problem solvers with a “Yes, We can!” attitude.

5) Throw in something extra.

Customer service is not about meeting expectations -- it’s about creating loyalty, trust, and partnership. Trust makes us an integral part of their business as well.

In all our interactions with customers, whether it’s training, or delivering/receiving an order, we strive to leave them with the feeling that they are valued as a human being.

We’ve developed the Red Carpet treatment for customers who have scheduled time with us. We know they are taking time out of their regular schedule to meet with us, and treating them like royalty, even for a few minutes, makes the point that they are special.

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