Want to know the truth? Ask my wife…
Contributed by John Parker, Vice President of Project Development
We all have those people in our lives who love us so much, they will tell us the hard truth. There have been many mornings where I walk into the kitchen, and I can tell what my wife is thinking…that shirt and coat combination do not match. Even though it is a little painful to turn around and change, I am thankful for the honest feedback. It’s better than having someone else tell me how silly I look later that day!
Honest feedback is critical to being the best company we can be. There are several ways EV uses outside feedback to grow as an organization. These third-party, independent evaluations of the company expose areas of weakness that we may be blind to and uncover opportunities for improvement, growth and correction. They also help highlight areas where we are doing better than our peers, which reinforces our culture and actions. Without this feedback, we are left to our own perspective which, like my ability to match clothes, can be a bit “off” sometimes.
EV receives third party feedback from two primary sources; The MCOY (Michigan Contractor of the Year) awards and the Best & Brightest Places to Work program. The MCOY awards are determined by gathering feedback from the West Michigan trade contracting community. EV is rated on criteria like jobsite management, safety and payment terms. Our ranking in the MCOY awards, along with comments from the judging companies, is put right to work as we pursue excellence across our operations.
The Best & Brightest Places to Work program surveys our employees and ranks us among thousands of other businesses regionally and nationally. Participation in this program over the last decade has given EV quantifiable data on how we have improved as an employer of choice over the years. Even though we have been named a Best & Brightest Elite winner many times, the data also tells us where we may be falling behind. Negative feedback is just as helpful as the positive.
Some of the most useful feedback we receive is from the comment section of the Best & Brightest employee survey. This feedback allows our employees to be specific about things they like and dislike about the company. We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to provide anonymous feedback; the more specific the feedback is, the better. If my wife lets me know my shirt does not match my jacket, I can fix that quickly. On the other hand, if she just tells me that my outfit is ugly, it is harder for me to react. Of course, when it comes to the workplace, if the situation is urgent or private, a direct conversation with your supervisor is probably the best way to get action.
Continuous improvement relies on feedback. The company believes so strongly about the value of safety and putting our employees first that we are willing to be called out every once in a while when we don’t meet those standards. Without someone looking in from the outside and providing honest feedback, we can all end up walking out the door with mismatched clothes.