“Revolutionary!” you say, rolling your eyes a little and imagining walls filled with motivational sayings and “Hang in there, baby” posters.
Not so fast. The concept of excellence in a corporation might be cliche, but the practice of excellence is pretty rare.
It’s something I remember thinking was too good to be true my first week at TSheets. Everyone talks the talk of excellence. Everyone wants excellence. A lot of people promise excellence. But to see excellence in action is, well, humbling. And inspiring. And, frankly, a little confusing.
My first team meeting went a little like this:
Over the course of an hour, each time a new assignment or project emerged, it was met with a quick, “I’ll do that!” There were no awkward silences, no sighing.
When I asked a question, someone responded right away with, “I can find out for you right after this meeting” (and then promptly followed through).
Was this a show for the new girl? It was a meeting unlike any I’d ever been in.
When I shadowed our customer service team later that week during on-boarding, I watched as one of our reps took a longer call from a business owner who was frustrated by a problem that was happening with his accounting software. It wasn’t even our product. But he guided them through, patiently answering question after question. When he hung up, I expected to hear a snarky comment or at the very least a sigh of relief. All I got was a genuine smile. And it happened over and over again as I continued to shadow that week.
It took a little while to trust that this behavior was genuine. And it took some time to figure out why it was happening in the first place. But over time, I’ve come to realize it all comes back to this core value. And the second part of the value is critical in supporting the first. “Excellence: Require it from yourself and your teammates.”
Excellence is required to work at TSheets. And it’s not just required from the top down. It’s required as an internal compass, and it’s required from the people you work with and support and interact with every day. We hire for excellence. And we hold each other to that standard.
Accountability + Passion
So, it’s about accountability, yes, but that’s not all. It’s also about passion (we’ll talk more about that in a later post!). True excellence is impossible to fabricate and impossible to sustainably fake. The customer support reps I shadowed weren’t white-knuckling it. They were glad to be helping someone, even if it meant a long call to get the job done right. And my coworkers were glad to step up to the plate and volunteer for assignments, because they wanted to do good work together, and that’s what it took to get the job done.
When I started at TSheets, I was told I’d be doing the best work of my life. I quickly realized my teammates were doing the best work of their lives too–which is how it has to be when excellence is the gold standard for everyone. All the parts of the whole have to be working well. You don’t build your dream home with the finest materials, the best craftsmanship–and a sloppy paint job. For true excellence, all the parts and pieces–departments, individuals, and the product you offer–has to come together to deliver on that promise.
Skeptical? You’re not alone. We’ve been asked if we’re somehow faking our volume of five-star reviews from customers on apps.com. How else would we get so many glowing reviews so much faster than the competition?
We’ve won “Best Places to Work in Idaho” for two years running now. How?
It’s that simple.