Fun Friday

Hey everyone! Welcome to Friday. Congratulations! You made it! Hooray!

As a treat, we have rounded up some of the best stuff from the week. It's a treat for you. Enjoy!

A scientologist , a vegan, and a crossfitter walk into a bar... I only know this because they announced it to everyone within two minutes.
— via Hunter "Panther" Knappen, EnvoyFM Service Angent

Seth Godin nails it with this post on creating apathy. (Do the opposite to create engagement.)

Q: Why is the picture in jail?

A: Because it was framed.
— via Brian Dowdy, Cash America

Hunter and Scott from Envoy both advise you to go see this movie.

Q: How did the hipster burn his tongue?

A: He drank his coffee before it was cool.?
— via Dean Phillips, EnvoyFM
Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes?

A: No ideer.
— via Michelle "Absolutely" Necessary, CashAmerica

Enjoy your weekend!

Chasing Your Dream

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Have you ever chased a dream either professional or personally that just consumed your every waking moment and eventually your actual dreams? 

What was it about that dream that kept you from giving up?

So often in life that one thing we really want is one of the hardest things to reach or achieve. 

Why is that?  

When we were kids, chasing a dream wasn't exhausting. We just had to wait until we grew up, right?

To keep from going insane you have to stop and look around for a minute and see how far you've made it already. Allow yourself to enjoy the progress for that moment, catch your breath, regroup and start running again.

Life would be boring if there wasn't something that seemed just out of your reach. Don't quit. Fight for your dreams.

Tell us how you just keep swimming.

Meme Monday

Monday's can be rough, right? We feel you.

It's a good thing your friends and Envoy have you covered. Welcome to Meme Mondays!

It's our celebration of the funny that happens in the Envoy chatrooms from last week. We believe people like working with happy people, so we do our best to make sure our attitudes are positive and our laughs are at the maximum.

Enjoy the memes.

Did you overindulge this weekend? Might as well own it like this guy.

Sometimes Mondays and yo-yos have a lot in common.

Yeah....exactly what I said.

Just relax, and let your hair down.

And look for the positive in everything.

Happy Monday, friends!

Being Irrationally Helpful

Every company, any good one at least, has to have something they are irrational about. It's the hill they stand on in the marketplace.

Services are seen as a commodity in our industry. One company is indistinguishable from another.

It takes a significant amount of focus and hard work to stand out. It also takes sacrifice and risk.

It takes a significant amount of focus and hard work to stand out. It also takes sacrifice and risk.

It's choosing to take a loss on a job because a vendor messed up.

Its offering a prospect our vendor list because they don't work with national facility maintenance vendors.

It's making long term decisions when the short term decision seems more attractive.

It's checking in with our customers to see how they are doing, and doing it without an agenda.

It's rewarding our team when they go out of their way to serve a customer or vendor, especially when it's outside of their job description.

It's referring a vendor to a software, book, article, or resource that will help their business.

It's connecting people when there is nothing in it for us.

And it's sharing information about our company because we believe in helping everyone, even our competition.

Irrational helpfulness is baked into every level our organization. It is a value that drives our decisions, goals, and actions.

We hope it's contagious.

Happy Friday everyone.

Treat People Like People

In our team meeting the other day I asked the following question to our small team. “Why do our customers choose to send us work orders day after day?”

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This is a very important question to us because the answer is what leads us towards the most important thing we do.

At first, all of the usual, boring answers came out.

  • Great customer service
  • Low cost
  • Follow through
  • Communication
  • Easy to work with
  • Convenience

While all of these reasons are true, I did not believe they were THE reason.

I pushed forward. "These are just the basics. Any company is capable of any of these. Why are we getting repeat business? What is the reason we are chosen over our competitors?”

Finally someone spoke up, “It’s because our customers enjoy working with us.”

Not bad, I thought. “Why?”

"Because we are nice.”

“Nice?” I asked.

“Because we treat them like people, not customers.”

BOOM!!!

This idea is at the core of our entire company culture. We call it being irrationally helpful. Being irrationally helpful means we do things that don’t make sense in order to serve someone else. Here are some ways we build irrational helpfulness into our culture.

We only hire amazing people who are fueled and fulfilled by making other people’s lives better. We hire people who exude an attitude of service at the office and in their personal lives. If you don’t like to help, you don’t make it in. If you are only about yourself and your accomplishments, you don’t make it.

We celebrate when an employee makes a sacrificial decision over one that would add quick money to our company.

Our leaders operate based on servant leadership principles where we view our job as clearing obstacles to help our employees thrive.

We have weekly one-on-one meetings with our direct reports where the agenda is set by the report, not the leader. The whole purpose of these meetings is to give our team members an opportunity to speak their point of view and get questions answered.

When it is simplified to one element, the thing that makes EnvoyFM different is our people…People who treat people like people.

Our dream is that everyone we interact with: vendors, customers, competitors, employees, bosses, strangers, everyone…that their day will be better because of the way we helped them.

At the end of the day, we will be remembered by the way we treat people.

People Love Working With Happy People

We talk a ton about a culture of service at EnvoyFM. Why? Because it’s so important.

There is so much more that goes into a great service provider than what you do, where you do it, and how much you charge.

At the end of the day, people love working with happy people.

This is one of the core values in the EnvoyFM culture.

You have all heard the adage, an organization’s culture matches the leader.

Grumpy leader. Grumpy company.

Stubborn leader. Stubborn company.

Selfish leader. Selfish company.

Fortunately it goes the other way. We simply prefer to be fun, happy, and generous people. Our customers love it too.

We decided since our company is going to have a culture, it better be one we like.

Here are some ways we protect our culture.

Absolutely no gossip. Gossip comes in many forms. We don’t tolerate any of them.

No grudges. We handle disagreements immediately and with grace.

Play music. It’s just makes everything better.

Be flexible. Our team is responsible for one thing: take care of our customers. They have freedom to make that happen on their terms.

All of this helps to encourage great attitudes and healthy people. It’s great for our customers, and it’s great for us too.

People like working with happy people.

Earning Referrals Early

Woohooo! We are just a few weeks into real world testing the brand new EnvoyFM system with an early adopter customer. The results so far…incredible. Read on to find out why.

Why in the world would a customer who has only been with us for right at 3 weeks be willing to act as a reference?

The short story: communication levels increased dramatically while average invoices decreased substantially. Pretty awesome, right?

How the heck are we pulling this off when we don’t even self-perform? We use a simple, 4-step process.

One. Deliver on the Big 3.

Two. Reduce contractor time spent on site.

Three. Treat local providers really, REALLY well.

Four. Use the best technology…period.

Part One: Deliver on the Big 3

I believe there are three things every facilities manager needs from contractors. If you know me, you know I say this all the time. I call them the Big 3.

Excellent communication. Thorough follow-through. Fast invoicing.

If you disagree, dig into the major issues you deal with as a facilities manager, and you will find one of these 3 at the root of your issues. Better yet, pick your favorite contractor. I guarantee that company kills it in these 3 areas.

Part Two: Reduce Contractor Time Spent On Site

This one is tied to our proprietary work order management software. I can’t give  away details here. If you are super curious, let’s chat.

Part Three: Treat Local Providers Really Well

There is this crazy thing that happens to you when you treat people really well. What is it? They treat you really well in return. National vendors have a bad reputation of beating people up on price, demanding a ton, and then slow paying them. That’s a recipe for churning through contractors, and guess what? There are only a handful of great local vendors in a small town.

Part Four: Use the Best Technology…Period

This part is the most important. In order to pull all of this off, we need maximum levels of organization. There is no room in our fast-paced, highly reactive industry for more chaos. We need to bring the peace.

We needed a highly efficient work flow. Extra work had to be removed.

We needed highly accessible information quickly.

We needed a communication conduit with our contractors.

We needed to strip away redundant work and stay focussed on value adding work.

If a customer needs to know about a break in Kansas City our account managers need to know about a breaker in Kansas City, plain and simple.

If a work order comes in for a small town, we need to quickly select a vendor and dispatch a work order.

Basically, we need to free up time to allow people to be great at the people part of the business.

The Conclusion

It’s working.

Our customers are happy because they have great service at great prices.

Our vendors are happy because they have plenty of work and are treated fairly.

Our people are happy because people they get to focus on meaningful work: serving other people.