Restoring Success: It’s All a Matter of Culture

restoration business managementCulture! I searched R&R’s website for the word “culture”, and it yielded over 200 results. There are lots of golden nuggets from industry experts that lie within. My first Restoring Success in January 2014, Core and Shared Values, spoke to understanding them, putting on paper, and living them. Six years later, I’m now realizing nearly every column I write circles back to one core topic: culture.

We have all read about it, talked about it, and understand how it impacts our organizations. It is a fairly abstract concept and there is not necessarily a right or wrong culture. Can such a gray area like culture be the ultimate key to success as defined by your organization?

Have you ever gone somewhere or to someone’s home and you felt uncomfortable? Have you ever brought someone in your organization and then questioned if they will fit in? Do people in the organization who become ingrained in the culture seem to thrive?

From a business standpoint, culture can impact an organization’s ability to adopt new technology, overcome challenges, provide world-class service, provide opportunities for growth, learning, development, and more. Descriptors of these attributes may sound like innovative, customer-centric, and adaptable. If I was asked to describe the culture in our organization, I would also use the word happy. It’s part of our culture to be happy. I like to work in a happy place, happy people serve others with joy, we attract and hire happy people, and if someone joins the team and exudes “grumpy”, they either get happy or … you get the idea.

Culture: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.

I love the restoration industry as a profession and my passion is in operations. There is nothing I enjoy more than process and order, developing it and the excitement of doing it in a world with intricacies and challenges. I love even more when processes, systems, and orders are followed consistently. In classes, we focus on standards of care that often become integral to companies’ SOPs, safety practices, workflows, and more. The reality is that drafting an SOP and distributing it does not make it so; culture and engagement are the keys.

A good restoration friend of mine, Chris Zahlis, the owner of Restoration 1 of Columbia-College Park-Annapolis, referred to the movements that naturally happen within an organization or in any given moment as “muscle memory.” Muscle Memory is a great way to describe the moment when the processes, procedures, and order become the culture of the company.

Culture is not just the “practices”, but also the attitudes and values and other characteristics that ultimately impact every facet of the organization and its outcomes.

One of our shared values is priding ourselves on our presentation and professionalism as a company. This value applies to our dress, communications, building, vehicles, equipment, and more. Although most of us in our organization think it is never good enough, our warehouse is typically organized and clean. I get on-going positive feedback about our warehouse and there is certainly methodology, process, and order but it is really just part of our culture. Nobody is “in-charge” of the warehouse; everyone naturally pitches in, tidies, and keeps it looking good.

Messy Vehicles and Culture Change

In spite of our values, clearly written expectations, making random announcements, holding individuals accountable, we have been challenged to keep the fleet, specifically the interiors, of our vehicles up to company standards. Why? It is part of our culture to keep our warehouse neat, orderly, and everything in its place and it is not part of our culture to keep the interior of the vehicles in pristine condition? Why is it not part of the company culture? How do you change the culture?

What are the options in tackling this cultural shift? Let’s try consistently leading with some standby clichés that have a track record of being effective:

  • Inspect what you expect
  • Keep it front and center (consistently)
  • Lead by example
  • Publicly praise

It is time for a change. The leadership talked about it and showed passion. We committed to weekly inspections, publicly praised, tweaked forms and processes, and after a couple of months, the culture started to change. People would walk up to me with pride and joy, “I cleaned my vehicle!”

Then, for the leadership, everything else became more important and the momentum of the cultural shift stopped. As soon as the elements that contribute to the culture shift stop or are inconsistently (Inconsistency, The Silent Enemy) exemplified it will unravel.

Culture is complex and the backbone of your intricate organization. Next time you are challenged by something in your organization, in addition to the process, people, and systems, consider it as a matter of culture. Be inspired by others, be observant, be thoughtful, and check out some of the great ideas found within the R&R archives.

Restoration Management Software Benefits – Starting A Restoration Company

restoration management software, hr management softwareSo, you are starting a restoration company – congratulations! A restoration company can be a very lucrative business for business owners who take the right steps during the startup process. Business owners understand the need for updated licenses and certifications, insurance and even marketing. What many restoration business owners aren’t often aware of is their need for the best management systems. Restoration management software offers a ton of value to business owners and to their employees. iRestore offers the best in restoration management tools and can help you get your company off the ground and headed in the right, organized, and efficient direction to make sure your company has the resources it needs to grow and profit.

Job Management

Losing track of different jobs and documents makes running a restoration company simply chaotic. You can avoid mistakes and simple errors by utilizing the job management feature of our restoration management software. Not only does the software synch across all platforms so that employees on the field can easily communicate with employees in the office, but the ability to use different platforms means that documents and information can be stored quickly and easily, reducing the chances of misplacing documents or losing valuable information.

Relationship Management

Have you thought about what it takes to build relationships with clients and referral sources? iRestore’s restoration management software is fully equipped with a robust relationship management system that gives you the tools you need to build long-lasting relationships with those that will help your company grow.

Equipment Management

Keeping track of equipment signed out on jobs, equipment maintenance, and equipment loss/need is not easy if it is not successfully managed. With restoration management software by iRestore, you can easily store equipment data that is necessary to keep your business running smoothly. Scheduling jobs can be nearly impossible if you don’t know where equipment is and when it is expected to be returned. Keeping equipment running well is a challenge if it is not maintained and repaired effectively. Keep track of what is happening with your equipment and keep your business moving forward.

Human Resources

Running a new business isn’t just about managing your jobs and your clients. To be successful, you need to be able to manage your employees effectively. From training to certifications to insurance information and health records, keep your employees up-to-date and cared for. Our restoration management software also provides the ability to text and/or email all employees with the click of a button – great for sharing safety tips, urgent announcements, and more.

Restoration Management Software – iRestore

We know that you want to start your new restoration company with the best solutions in mind. While you are busy hiring new employees, networking for new clients, and prepping your company with the best equipment, our restoration management software can help you store that information easily and keep you moving in the right direction. Contact iRestore to learn more about the best in restoration management software and how it can help you meet your business needs. Request a demo today!