Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting Dina Dwyer-Owens, Chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group – an $800 million organization that includes more than 1,600 franchises across the world. She is an amazing woman and has achieved overwhelming success in creating, building and sustaining wildly successful businesses in some very unglamorous and highly competitive industries including electrical repair, plumbing repair, glass repair, lawn maintenance and other similar services. Lucky for us, she took the time to write a short but powerful book about the core ideas that have helped her to build deeply admired and highly profitable organizations.
In her book, “Live R.I.C.H. – How to Build Success In Your Company and Your Life – With a Proven Code of Values,” Dina counsels that building a strong corporate culture based on clear values has been the absolute key to her company’s success. She states that it is critical to create a vivid and compelling message about the importance of an organization’s code of values in a way that is engaging, easy to understand and memorable. For The Dwyer Group, she developed the acronym R.I.C.H to keep everyone focused on their core values:
- Respect – treat others as we would like to be treated.
- Integrity – make only agreements we are willing, able and intend to keep.
- Customer focus – continuously strive to maximize internal and external customer loyalty.
- Have fun in the process!
Throughout the book, Dina gives wonderful stories and examples about how the Dwyer Group takes these values and makes them come alive both inside the company and for their customers. Internally, they start every meeting – that’s right, every meeting – by reciting the values. To explain the value of “respect” internally, they have established a rule that says “We live our Code of Values by speaking calmly, and respectfully, without profanity or sarcasm,” a powerful way to truly put their money where their mouth is.
As an example, Dina describes how they live the value of “respect” for their customers:
“At the Dwyer group, we communicate this idea [respect] with two booties and a doormat, and the results are amazing. In franchise training, technicians are taught to knock on the door and when the customer answers, they lay down a doormat with the company’s logo facing the doorstep of the customer’s home and put on surgical shoe covers [booties]. The message is we respect you and your home, and we will treat both with care. It’s an instant icebreaker. The minute a customer opens the door, he or she is amazed at the professional level of service our company is offering. And we haven’t even crossed the threshold!”
Live R.I.C.H. is an excellent resource for any company that wants to establish a strong set of core values to guide their organizational culture, engage their employees and consistently impress and delight their customers.