Throughout over 20 years in the industry, corporate culture has been a passion of SOLID’s founder and president, Mike Crippen. Beyond the services SOLID provides*, the company is built on a strong foundation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and he fosters a culture of dedicated craftsmen who strive to provide quality surface care and client delight.
So when Facility Management Journal (FMJ), the official magazine of IFMA written by and for FM professionals, announced the theme of an upcoming edition to be FM and the Environment, Crippen opted to be a part of it. His piece, Growing Corporate Social Responsibility in the FM Community, appears on pages 46-51 of the May/June 2017 issue.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a business concept that focuses on the company’s social, cultural, economic and environmental impact.
“Corporate culture is probably the most important thing about a company,” said Crippen. “You learn so much about an organization by what they choose to embrace and what they make important.” He believes that the quality of any workforce is built upon how their employees are treated. Anyone can create a mission statement. It’s only when those words are embraced by the greater organization, rather than just being used as a marketing strategy, that everyone benefits.
“Organizations that live what they believe in are the most appealing to me. And they make the best connections with their customers,” said Crippen. “Building a culture that’s real and something you can define is one of the primary tasks of any successful organization.”
So how do facility managers fit into this equation? By creating and preserving spaces that are evocative of the corporate culture. FMs are responsible for spaces where people who populate that culture live, motivating and inspiring them to do things reflective of that culture. Crippen has always believed in the philosophy of creating the environment where success is possible.
Maintaining a strong culture that can be communicated to employees and shared with customers is important.
“The more we can put ideas and messages into words – not just for our clients, but in our own spaces – the more we reinforce the belief in those ideals. It becomes a way of surrounding your people with a set of ideas that speaks to what they believe,” said Crippen.
It’s a vendor-partner service provider’s responsibility to meet the needs of their customer’s CSR mission. A vendor can stay true to what their corporate culture demands while still recognizing what’s important to the customer and tailoring a client-specific plan to meet those needs. Taking an adaptive approach, from language and nomenclature to preferred business attire, reflects your willingness to work together and achieve results.
In today’s business climate, ethics is talked about less than it was 30+ years ago when there seemed to be more value in corporate leaders safeguarding high moral principles – and their organization was looked upon by the same. But the reality is that ethics builds trust. We must choose how to provide services and conduct ourselves.When vendors and suppliers compete for business, it’s an opportunity to highlight the value an ethical company brings to the table: legally, philanthropically, and economically.
Crippen believes we should spend more time talking about ethics as a means of making the system better. The lowest bid on any scope of work is likely to win business. But when there’s no way to complete the scope at that cost, holding parties accountable to their promises will drive change.
When companies look the same on paper, FMs should be diligent and ask questions to find out what separates them. You’ll never find a definition of ethics or social responsibility in a price. Whether decisions are being made by the FM or a third party firm, it is important to take a closer look to partner with companies that align with your businesses ethics, values and culture.
At SOLID, we believe in being nimble, agile, and adaptable. That’s why we call ourselves Solutionists: we’re prepared to meet any challenge with clear thinking and positive action. We thrive on taking surface care off of your to-do list so you can focus on high-level/long-term projects like CSR initiatives – and receiving the credit you deserve.
“It’s all driven by expectations,” said Crippen. “SOLID has a solution to meet your needs, and a deliverable that can meet your price point.” A good service provider will always ask, ‘What’s important to you,’then offer value and resources. From pricing to performance, track record, attention to detail, and compliance to the work environment, CSR builds value specifically around what the client needs. Long term relationships are forged when partners see the world in the same way. And in a competitive market, a CSR track record can make all the difference.
For more information on SOLID, please contact us.