Embracing Our 28 Fundamentals

We don’t just follow our values; we practically throw them a parade! Living, breathing, and thriving by them is the Allen Field way. Our culture is essential to our goals and achievements.

Every week, in meetings, and even during challenging conversations, we start with a lively chat about the week’s fundamental. Because, hey, why be serious when you can be seriously brilliant?

1. Do the right thing, always.

Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one is looking. Always tell the truth. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.

2. Do what’s best for the customer.

Do what’s best for the customer, even if it is to our own short-term detriment. There’s no greater way to build a reputation than to earn the trust of those we serve and there’s no better way to build trust than to do what’s right for others. Every day.

3. Make quality personal.

Take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Always ask yourself, “is this my best work?” Everything you touch has your signature and makes a statement about you. Make sure it is a statement of excellence.

4. Add value.

Find ways to help our customers become better and more efficient. Understand their goals and be sure everything you do for them is aligned with helping them meet their objectives. Do the little things, as well as the big things, that surprise and set us apart. Create experiences that turn customers into our biggest advocates.

5. Assume positive intent.

Always work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Give people the benefit of the doubt. You have the power to choose your attitude. Choose an attitude that is joyful, optimistic, and enthusiastic. Your attitude is contagious.

6. Be a fanatic about response time.

Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s on the phone or by email. Keep those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues and provide acknowledgement that we are working diligently to resolve the task at hand.

7. Think team first.

It’s about us and we, not me and I. Don’t let your own ego or personal agenda get in the way of doing what’s best for the team. Worrying about who gets credit or taking things personally is counterproductive. Help each other succeed. We win and lose as a team.

8. Honor commitments.

Be reliable and deliver on your commitments every time. This includes being on time for all phone calls and meetings. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new commitment to be honored.

9. Practice blameless problem solving.

Apply an unwavering solution-focused approach when developing the best course of action, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve our process so we don’t make the same mistake again. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.

10. Invest in relationships.

Get to know customers and co-workers on a more personal level. 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. Respect everyone’s value as unique individuals, regardless of background, age, appearance, or beliefs. Leverage what each individual brings to the table. The better you know people, the more successful you can be in understanding and meeting their needs.

11. Get clear on expectations.

Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Establish mutually understood objectives and deadlines for all projects, issues, and commitments. Ask when you’re not clear on what is expected of you. Follow up with action items, responsibilities, and due dates.

12. Communicate clearly and candidly.

Know your audience. Write and speak in a way that they can understand. Avoid using internal lingo, acronyms, and industry jargon. Use the simplest possible explanations. Speak honestly and in a caring and respectful tone that moves the action forward. Be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.

13. Listen with an open mind and open heart.

Listening is more than simply “not speaking”. Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Quiet the noise in your head and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Create space for others to express themselves without judgment. Listen with care and curiosity. Above all, listen to understand.

14. Go the extra mile.

Be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the job, plus a little bit more. Make decisions by asking yourself, “What would I do if this were my company? What would I do if this were my own money?”. Take the next step to solve the problem, even if it takes doing something that’s not in your job description. It’s the extra mile that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. Be extraordinary.

15. Practice empathy.

See the world from the customer’s perspective. Know their challenges and frustrations. The better you understand and know them, the more effectively you can anticipate and meet their needs.

16. Follow-up everything.

Record a follow-up date for every action and take responsibility to see that it gets completed. Persistence is often the difference between success and failure. We are done when something is complete, not when it is simply put in motion.

17. Deliver results and celebrate success.

While effort is appreciated, we reward and celebrate results. Set high goals and use measurements to track your progress. Hold yourself accountable for achieving results. Regularly give, receive, and ask for meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation – in all directions throughout our company. Celebrate one another’s successes no matter how big or small.

18. Look ahead and anticipate.

Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future issues and addressing them in advance. Preventing issues is always more effective than fixing them.

19. Be process oriented.

Create systems and processes that support our ability to perform with consistency. Strong processes are the foundation of organizational effectiveness. Information is the lifeblood of our business, we must be great at sharing it across people, departments, and functions. Document everything you do so others have access to the information necessary for success. Save it, share it, and use it.

20. Get the facts.

Don’t make assumptions. There’s always more to the story than first appears. Gather the facts before jumping to conclusions or making judgments. Be curious about what other information might give you a more complete picture. Make better decisions by relying primarily on facts and data, rather than opinions or emotions. Be objective.

21. Make healthy choices.

Take care of yourself at home and at work. Eat well, exercise, and get adequate sleep. Support each other in making healthy choices. Watch out for your mental health. The healthier you are, the more you’ll thrive personally and professionally. Take care of our most valuable asset – you.

22. Pay attention to the details.

From the setup of a machine, to the specs on an order; from getting the shipping address right, to nailing the tolerances – details matter. Be meticulous about accuracy and precision. Double-check your work. Get the details right the first time.

23. Keep things fun.

Remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Maintain perspective and remember to have fun. Fun renews our spirit, keeps us energized, and helps us think more creatively.

24. Lead by example.

The best way to inspire others and maintain our culture is through your own example. Walk the talk. Don’t ask others to do what you can’t or won’t. Take the initiative to coach, guide, and mentor others.

25. Bring it.

Approach each day with focus, energy, urgency, and enthusiasm. Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and decisive. Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. Take ownership and see issues through to their completion.

26. Ask people who know.

Wisdom is everywhere; it is not confined to a certain age, title, paygrade, or tenure. Learn from everyone. Experience matters too. People who’ve done it before know what it takes to get it done. Make better decisions by gathering as much knowledgeable input as you can. There are people out there happy to help. Make use of them and you will find success faster than you could on your own.

27. Be a brand ambassador.

Treasure, protect, and promote our reputation. We are all responsible for, and benefit from, our company’s image. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation and put your best foot forward. Be a proud ambassador for the company.

28. Never stop improving.

Regularly evaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. “Because we’ve always done it that way” is not valid reasoning. Get outside your comfort zone by being a lifelong learner. Ask “Why?” Be adaptable and excited about the possibilities that change and growth bring. Respectful debate and constructive conflict are vital to our company’s health. Innovation, improvement, and success don’t come from playing it safe.
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