Insight into how Tekmetric’s leadership team developed actionable, relatable fundamentals that make company culture more measurable.
Building a strong company culture is key to not only employee retention and satisfaction, but also performance. Tekmetric’s leadership team chose to go beyond company values to create a culture operating system.
"I believe culture can be our strategic advantage.” - Sunil Patel, CEO
The operating system is built around 24 Fundamentals, designed to complement Tekmetric’s four values: Focused, Reliable, Authentic and Compassionate.
The Fundamentals are specific characteristics and actions that can be measured and practiced on a daily basis. The Tekmetric team collaborated closely to create the fundamentals, avoiding a top down approach and ensuring buy-in from across the organization.
“What we thought was really cool about it is that they're relatable,” said Karina Amanullah, Head of People and Culture. “Everybody knows how to do each one of them. Even if they haven’t mastered them, they know what they are and there's no ambiguity. “I think the most valuable piece is when you read them you understand exactly what type of company we want to be.”
Added Amanullah, "It makes it clear what kind of culture we want to build. How we want to communicate with each other. What we believe in. What we don’t believe in. Formalizing it and getting it down on paper is powerful.”
Since the rollout in February, the Fundamentals have become part of the everyday work of each team at Tekmetric.
Each week starts with an email from Founder and CEO Sunil Patel on his thoughts on the Fundamental of the week, which is also discussed in team meetings, leadership meetings and during the monthly all company meeting. New hires are introduced to them during onboarding.
And, more importantly, they are becoming part of the everyday vocabulary within the company.
“We're starting to use them as common terms within the company,” said Amanullah. “I hear them used in meetings and I think it’s nice to see them become part of our language. The ultimate goal is to get people so comfortable with them that it's not a thing. It's just what happens at Tekmetric.”
“As we continue to grow and scale our company, consistent messaging and culture amongst our teammates and externally with customers is hard to preserve," said Patel. "I believe culture can be our strategic advantage.”
1. ADOPT A GROWTH MINDSET.
Be a lifelong learner. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, increase your skills, and become a greater expert. Accept new challenges and learn from them. Take the time to share what you’ve learned with others on the team if they can benefit too.
2. SHARE THE WHY
Before others can understand what to do or how to do it, they must first understand why. Explain the big picture. The more people understand the reason for what we’re doing, the more actively they can participate in the solution.
3. THINK TEAM FIRST
It’s about us, not about you. Don’t let your ego or personal agenda get in the way of doing what’s best for the team. Be there for each other and be willing to step into another role or help a co-worker when that’s what’s required for success. Help each other succeed.
4. DRIVE IMPACT
While effort is important, our customers expect results. Follow up on everything and take responsibility to ensure that tasks get completed. Set aggressive goals, use measurements to track your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
5. GET CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS
Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates.
6. TAKE OWNERSHIP
Take personal responsibility for making things happen and see them through completion. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. If you see an opportunity to make us better, act on it. Accidentally stepping on toes is inevitable and should always be forgiven; we're all on the same team.
7. PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM-SOLVING
Demonstrate a relentless solution focus, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes so we don’t make the same mistake twice. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.
8. MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS
Make good decisions by relying primarily on facts and data, rather than solely on opinions or emotions. Be objective. Analyze the data and use this information to make better decisions.
9. TAKE INTELLIGENT RISKS
Innovation, improvement, and success don’t come from playing it safe. They come from a thoughtful and intentional willingness to try the unconventional and to ask “What if?” Try a new way. Think differently.
10. ACT WITH INTEGRITY
Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.
11. SHARE INFORMATION
While we should be vigilant about protecting confidential information both internally and externally, share relevant information freely throughout our organization. The more people know, the better we can collaborate. Learn to ask yourself, “Who else needs to know this?”
12. DEBATE, THEN ALIGN
Healthy, vigorous debate creates better solutions. Debate concepts without making personal attacks. Check your ego and push for the best solution, rather than your solution. Once a decision is made, however, get fully aligned by putting your complete support behind it.
13. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THE CUSTOMER
In all situations, do what’s best for the customer, even if it’s to our own short-term detriment. Understand our customers’ world. Know their challenges and frustrations. See the world from their perspective. Put their needs ahead of our own. There’s no greater way to build a reputation than to steadfastly do what’s right for others.
14. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
Missing just one detail can have an enormous impact on everything that comes after it. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work. Get the details right the first time.
15. BE A TEKMETRIC AMBASSADOR
We’re all responsible for, and benefit from, our company’s image and reputation. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation, and be a proud and positive representative of Tekmetric. We love to say, above all else, when representing Tekmetric, be someone you yourself would enjoy spending time with at a backyard barbecue.
16. LISTEN GENEROUSLY
Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand.
17. SPEAK COURAGEOUSLY.
Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.
18. HONOR COMMITMENTS
Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, meetings, and promises. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored.
19. CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
Our relationships go deeper than simply being teammates at work. We spend a lot of time together, and we genuinely care for and about each other. Whether it’s a kind word during a tough stretch, a friendly smile each morning, or a helping hand in stressful times, show your compassion.
20. BE A FANATIC ABOUT RESPONSE TIME
Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by email. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we’re “on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.
21. SHOW MEANINGFUL APPRECIATION
Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all directions throughout our organization.
22. MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES
Take care of yourself at home and at the office. Eat well, exercise, and get adequate sleep – take care of yourself so that you’ll thrive personally and professionally. Support each other in making healthy choices. To give your best, you must be at your best!
23. “BRING IT” EVERY DAY
Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Put your best work and effort on the table. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done.
24. KEEP THINGS FUN
While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Remember that attitudes really are contagious – inject fun into what you and we do.