10 Commitments: #1 – No Shortcuts

As we attack our operating plan for the coming year, our goal will be to have every teammate in the enterprise to be fully committed to help us achieve results. While it is true that it is hard to expect every person to be on his game every day, if we don’t start with that ambition, we will consistently find that our best results can’t be achieved. On the teams that perform best, everyone understands what is expected of them and endeavors to do his job. Our enterprise is no different.

Some years ago I was working with supervisors and managers to find a way to summarize what we are looking for from our employees. We came up with a list of 10 commitments that we would like each team member to embrace. You may have seen them printed up somewhere in your facility.

I want to share them with you again and discuss each one in detail as we close out the year and head into 2013.


  1. No Shortcuts

    We will teach you the safe way, provide you safe equipment, fix it when it breaks. Do it right and safe.

    We need to look at each commitment as a contract between the company and the team member.

    “We will teach you the safe way” says the company is committed to a good safety orientation and meaningful training as the team member comes into the job. It should be a given.

    So, before we can expect no shortcuts, local management has to accept the accountability to make sure everyone starts work with the right training and understanding.

    In the midst of the training, we are assuming our equipment is safe. When it is not, we are committed to changing the unsafe condition as quickly as possible.

    So, we provide a safe environment and the knowledge necessary to operate safely within it. What is left is the team member’s commitment to do things the way they have been taught.

    Our two major sources of injury are: new people who don’t know what to do and get injured before experience teaches them the risks, and experienced people who trusted their abilities more than safe procedures and are injured as a result.

    When it comes to safety, no shortcuts should be a demand, not a desire.

  2. Safety Freeze

    Watch out for others, guide and teach “rookies,” hold others accountable for safe practices.

  3. On Time and Quick Start

    Be there, start timely.

  4. Work Smart – Technique and Consistency

    Learn the right techniques and work at a consistent pace.

  5. Work Hard – Strength and Speed

    Build endurance and push for faster production.

  6. Teamwork

    Teammates support, cooperate, encourage and motivate each others. Be a good team member.

  7. “Customer Quality”

    Know your customer and exceed their expectations.

  8. 100% Uptime

    Learn to understand your tools and machines. Maintain them. Report little things before they become big.

  9. Lean and Clean

    To run lean, we must have good housekeeping. Keep your area clean.

  10. Better or Worse?

    If you are not moving toward excellence, you are drifting toward mediocrity.

About The Author

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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