Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Friday, February 17th, 2012
We have more than 1,200 teammates in our company.
As CEO, it is my honor to lead our approach to how we treat each other as we serve our customers. Here are some thoughts I hold close.
As we interact with others daily, I would hope that every person would be able to say that they were treated with respect and they were treated fairly.
Certainly, those of us in leadership positions have the greatest responsibilities in this area. As we lead, we model for others how we think things should be.
If we yell, others may join us.
If we tease, others will follow our lead.
If we criticize performance and make it personal, personal attacks will become more common.
Fairness can be a hard target to achieve. My daddy used to tell me that “life ain’t fair” and remind me that I would be much happier if I would learn to accept that concept.
To a degree he is right. Two earnest and committed teammates could well discuss a situation and arrive at different conclusions about what fair is.
But, there are certain times where fairness is brought into question and it is clear that unfair actions have occurred. In those cases, power is been used improperly. Disrespect reigns.
When I hear about stuff like that, it makes me angry. When I hear about it, we take steps to rectify it. When I hear about it, we act to try to prevent that behavior from recurring.
We have posters in our plants where you can call and let us know if you have encountered someone who you believe has treated you with disrespect or treated you unfairly. We have put those posters in place because we have learned that despite our best efforts, it is possible such things can occur.
I am pleased to report those calls are rare. Our folks in leadership understand my goal to make our plants “the best employer in the markets we serve.” I believe that we are achieving that goal.
But, every once in awhile, we misstep. Please know we take every call seriously. We investigate all complaints thoroughly. We communicate our findings and attempt to arrive at a place where “fairness” is achieved. It’s the respectful way to handle such matters.
We never enjoy receiving these calls but every time they are made, a learning process begins that improves us as a company and makes us stronger.