When Prestige Maintenance USA updated its purpose statement a few months ago, it wanted to reflect some of the changes the company has been through in recent years. But, says CEO Rachel Sanchez, the company also wanted to make sure that the new statement placed an emphasis on PMUSA’s core values.
The new purpose statement, “Right People, Reliable Experience” perfectly explains what makes PMUSA stand out among its competitors. As a service company with more than 2,500 employees, having the right people in place is crucial to delivering a reliable experience. And as leader of the company, Sanchez says she is looking at new ways to uphold and instill the company’s core values at every step of each employee’s journey.
“We want to make sure that everything we do ties back to our core values,” Sanchez says.
That includes incorporating the core values into both the hiring and annual review processes. The four core values — Respectful, Responsive, Reliable and Results Driven — will now be used as a benchmark for employee performance.
“We have revamped our annual evaluation form so that our core values are at the top,” she explains. “As a company, there is a bar that we’ve set for our expectations when it comes to meeting those core values. Including it in our evaluation form gives us a way to tie it in to overall performance goals and make sure that each person is achieving them.”
One way to make sure those goals and values are being reinforced is through what Sanchez calls Quarterly Conversations. These regular meetings give employees structured time with their supervisor to learn where they are meeting the core values, where they might need improvement and to create a plan of action for making any adjustments.
With the implementation of Quarterly Conversations, supervisors can more clearly define their objectives for each employee, while employees walk away with a clear-cut plan for achieving those goals.
Core Values in Action
Because each person is unique and roles may vary, the 4Rs may be carried out in different ways.
For example, one PMUSA employee was recently recognized for his willingness to go above and beyond to keep the retail store clean and to ensure that it always look its best. The store's general manager noted that this employee has been crucial to the store’s success and is looked to as a training partner who sets an example for new employees.
“When you have that kind of work ethic and show that much pride in what you do, it really embodies what our core values are all about,” Sanchez says. “This employee is a great example of what it means to be reliable and respectful.”
Using Core Values to Shape the Future
As PMUSA becomes more determined to tie its performance goals to its core values, Sanchez says the company is also looking at ways to include the core values in the hiring process. Certain traits are difficult to screen for, but they can make the difference between a so-so employee and a stellar one.
“You can have someone who is great at their job, but if they don’t meet the company culture, it’s not going to be a good fit. And there are some things you just can’t teach people; it’s instilled in them.”
She points to another employee at a store in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, who was recently praised by an elderly customer. The customer is a regular at the store’s hair salon and lost her car keys on a recent visit. The employee stopped what he was doing and helped the customer find her car keys, ensuring that she’d be able to get home safely.
“Those are the kinds of values that we want; that’s a great example of being respectful and responsive,” Sanchez says. “That’s why it’s so important to us to hire the right people; we want the kind of people who will use our core values as the filter through which they make all of their decisions.”
Being able to base decisions on the 4Rs of the core values actually makes the decision-making process easier, Sanchez says.
“When an employee at any level has a decision to make, it helps to be able to measure it against our core values,” she explains. “When you can go back to the core values and see if your decision aligns with them, then you know exactly what you need to do.”
As the company continues to emphasize core values to guide the company culture, supervisors will use regular meetings to better communicate how those values can be demonstrated on the job.
“If we can communicate better by providing examples of how our core values are being displayed by our employees, then everyone can identify with it better,” Sanchez says. “Everything we do comes back to people, so we’re looking at more ways we can make this part of our daily conversation.”