If you do a quick Google search on “the importance of core values on business results” you’ll see articles from Forbes, Harvard Business Review and even Tony Robbins on the impact living core values has on (positive) business results. Each article you find has a different recommendation on ways to accomplish this.
As we entered our 5 th year in business, we decided to take an unconventional approach to investing in truly embedding our core values of safety, respect and professionalism into our culture. We have the opportunity to work with numerous businesses throughout Loudoun and Fairfax County on a variety of electrical needs. And many of our customers, partners and non-profits that we support are looking for ways to better their businesses, so we wanted to share what we have done in case that helps stimulate new ideas or methods.
We added to the team this year. We hired a corporate chaplain and the benefits have been exponential. His influence, and the team’s willingness to embrace him, has created a high-powered team that has worked closely together this year to execute on some of the largest and most complex projects in our history. We couldn’t have done it without the team being open to working with Gary Usher, our chaplain, and we are grateful for the work he has done so far.
We did a quick interview with him, and hope you find some value in this summary of his story.
Snippets from our conversation:
Q: How long have you been the chaplain for UPS?
I’ve been a chaplain for 8 years, and working with UPS between a year and a half and two years.
Q: What are some examples of things you do for UPS on a regular basis as chaplain?
My approach is to go wherever I am needed. I often meet with them at their shop, and occasionally at work sites. Sometimes it’s a brief encounter with the entire team, more of a check in. One on one I engage with them more personally about life and family. More broadly I am included in company events and luncheons. With Brian’s leadership, we have started training that includes financial budgeting, time management, and even stress management. By building these relationships and approaching their well-
being more broadly then simply ensuring they have the right equipment, if something happens to them (someone in the hospital, death in the family) they know they can come to me as a resource. I provide grief counseling and overall support during times of crisis. Employees choose if they want to be involved and how they are involved. And everything is completely confidential, unless they could hurt themselves or hurt someone else.
Q: What kind of an impact do you think your work has on the organizational culture at UPS?
When a life situation comes up (example: divorce) if you do not have people there to support you it can impact your attitude and performance at work. My role strengthens the team and the employees view of being valued as a whole person. Each part of what I do is in support of the CEO’s heart for his community and his employees. It brings authenticity to the mantra of their core values (Safety, Respect and Professionalism).
Q: How has your work had an impact on the results that are delivered to clients?
There is a ripple effect to the work that I do. The support I provide, and the fact that Brian has invested in the role of chaplain, demonstrates that the organization cares about the employee, far beyond the work they accomplish during the business day. When employees are cared for and supported, they are more committed and engaged, resulting in increased productivity and an improved level of service. But it’s important to point out that all my conversations with Brian focus on people, not profits.
Q: What is the most memorable experience you have had so far during your time at UPS?
When I connect with an employee and they open up and share their struggles with me. Those experiences are the most memorable. Walking with them through whatever journey they are facing, whatever difficult situation, and putting an arm around them and supporting them and getting them through those difficult times.
Q: Do you think your relationship with employees helps improve their productivity/ attitude/ mindset?
Yes, the work I do as a chaplain, and really as a team member, contributes to creating a place where people want to work and connect with one another. It reinforces the culture of support, service and connection. Brian does it because he cares and when you care for someone, they take care of you. So employees are going to work hard for him and care about him in return.
This is the approach we have taken to living core values. And we believe it sets us apart in the competitive landscape of electrical work. We care for our employees and our customers – and the investment in the holistic development of our team pays dividends as we get to be a part of developing a great place to work, and a service provider that consistently delivers.
We are grateful for our team, our customers, our partners, and our community and look forward to serving even more people in 2024.