High achievers place value in every aspect of their work, from the condition of their work areas to their products to how they deal with customers and co-workers.
Executive Director, Center for Manufacturing Systems, New Jersey Institute of Technology
There are many ways each of us can approach our jobs. While some people seem to only do enough to get by, others will do whatever is necessary to achieve great results. These high achievers are easily recognizable and viewed as key contributors in any organization. High achievers take pride in what they do. As I think about PRIDE, I envision Personalization, Respect, Inspiration, Dedication and Enthusiasm combined to produce excellent results.
Work area. The first place we can show pride is in our work area. We spend a great deal of time there, regardless of its size or location within the company. Taking pride in this area means keeping it organized to suit everyone’s needs. We can personalize the work area by taking ownership and making clear what conditions are acceptable. This generates respect for the work area and everything contained within it. This respect inspires actions that keep this “owned” area safe, neat, clean and organized. In line with this is a willingness to dedicate the time and effort needed to maintain the area and assure that others maintain it as well. When good organization is maintained, everyone’s enthusiasm grows. Perhaps for the first time, many of us feel we can control our work areas instead of having our work areas control us.
Customers. Regardless of the positions we hold, we are accountable to customers. These can be customers within our companies (known as internal customers) or those in other companies who ultimately use our products or services (referred to as external customers). We will exhibit pride as we strive to satisfy both types of customers. We want to personalize the relationships with these customers as we realize the importance of meeting their needs and expectations. When we make the effort to listen to our customers, we will be demonstrating genuine respect. As we work more and more closely with our customers, we will be inspired to create “win/win” outcomes that combine our expertise with their ongoing support of our efforts. We will dedicate time and effort to assure we are meeting their needs, thereby reducing their motivation to look for alternative sources of supply. As relationships with our customers remain positive, we become enthusiastic about the prospects for a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship that makes us feel a little more secure.
Products and services. As we produce parts or provide services, our pride will help us recognize that what we do is a personal reflection of our knowledge, skill and ability. We will respect the equipment, tools, processes and materials we are using. We will also respect those who support us when problems surface as well as those who may have faced similar problems in the past. The more we produce parts or provide services, the more we will be inspired to find better ways to improve customer service, increase quality, reduce cost or simply make things easier for everyone. We’ll dedicate ourselves to these continuous improvement efforts, recognizing that they may hold the key to our future competitiveness. When we complete our tasks or adopt better ways of doing things, this will reinforce the fact that we are key contributors in the organization and generate enthusiasm for facing the challenges that lie ahead.
Ourselves. When we are fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to learn new skills in our companies, we will find ways to personalize these skills in our daily tasks. We will develop (or increase) respect for those who have taken the time to teach us these skills. Learning will even inspire us to share our knowledge with others, just as others have shared their knowledge with us. We will then dedicate ourselves to putting our new skills to use as often as possible. Once we have mastered new skills, we will be enthusiastic about having learned skills that cannot be taken away and that will make us even more valuable to the organization.
Co-workers. Finally, when we are dealing with our co-workers each day, taking pride will help us recognize we have a personal stake in mutually beneficial results. We will see more value in building bridges than erecting fences. We will learn to respect the skills of those we deal with. Interactions will prove inspirational as we see opportunities to contribute what we know to achieve a common purpose. We will dedicate ourselves to assuring that our dealings with others lead to a positive outcome. It will not be so important whether we are right, but what we accomplish together. With experience and successful dealing with our co-workers, we will become even more enthusiastic regarding future dealings. In effect, we will continue to demonstrate pride in our jobs.