TNSC Culture: A Learning Culture (Part One of Three)
If you’ve read any of the blogs about The Network Support Company’s corporate culture, you know that our people are valued greatly. Our leaders genuinely care how everyone here is treated, that we’re given opportunities to grow as human beings, and that our office is an enjoyable place to spend at least eight hours every weekday.
Another pillar of our culture is the opportunity our employees have to become more knowledgeable in our industry; we operate within a true “Learning Culture.” And while that is true of many companies, TNSC is very intentional about allocating resources and energy to ensure it has taken root. Why? Not only because it is the right thing to do as a caring leadership team, but because our leaders believe that having the most expert and knowledgeable employees translates into a successful business.
The Network Support Company spends more than $100,000 a year on providing technical training and certifications for its technicians, because it’s imperative that they’re on top of the latest advances in the technology they are responsible to maintain, upgrade, repair and manage. It’s so important, in fact, that TNSC provides incentives for its techs to keep certifications current, as well as to seek out new ones that they can add to their resume and to their knowledge base. It might look like alphabet soup – but our techs have certifications in, for example, MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) or CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional).
All of this is good, and crucial to TNSC’s ability to provide excellent customer service to its clients, but what might set us apart from other tech companies is our steadfast adherence to the concept of learning from mistakes. In a world where most business’s profitability is adversely affected when technology fails, the concept of a technician contributing to that failure, a/k/a human error, is enough to make a tech manager’s blood boil. But instead of punishing that employee and trying to cover it up with its client, the managers at The Network Support Company have committed to a different approach, based on grace and transparency. Knowing that people are not perfect and will make mistakes, TNSC leaders never punish someone for making an honest error. And instead of trying to deflect blame or cover it up, they accept responsibility and fix what’s gone wrong. Besides the simple fact of this “being the right thing to do,” this also provides strong motivation for the company to be proactive and disciplined in doing the hard work required to make sure everything is done well and completely the first time. We know we can’t cover it up or gloss it over on the back end.
Here’s the process that leads to learning:
- When a technician makes a mistake, he or she immediately tells a manager what has transpired
- The manager immediately notifies our internal team and the client, letting them know a mistake has been made and is being corrected
- The immediate focus is on correcting the error and any fallout.
- Once our client is made whole, the mistake is then investigated to determine how and why the breakdown occurred – what we call a “post-mortem.”
- Based on the results of the post-mortem, remedial steps are taken to ensure the mistake does not happen again. This can include re-engineering processes, modifying checklists, new training and setting up automated monitoring and alerts to make reduce errors and to make us more resilient. Because no one will be punished for an honest mistake, and because everyone knows that even senior level employees can make a junior-level mistake – and especially because of TNSC’s overarching culture of trust – no one is embarrassed, berated or vilified. In fact, the tech is usually applauded for admitting his or her mistake and learning from it.
The Network Support Company’s unique culture is something we believe benefits not only our clients but our people, too. In the next blog on this subject, we’ll look at our “Disciplined Culture.”
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