By Mike Jarrett
As business owners, we endeavor to supply a needed service, create jobs in the community, enable workers to provide for their families, and build lasting value. I propose that another goal should be to set an example to our employees by our words and actions; not only in our relationships with clients and suppliers, but to the community where we live and work.
Core values play a crucial role, as they are a compass for professional and personal behavior. Your company’s core values determine how you conduct business, and they establish expectations for your staff. Jarrett’s core values include: Character, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Courage, Compassion, Respect, Fairness, Excellence, and Civic Responsibility. The first seven values are behavioral in nature, and serve as a model for the type of professional and personal attitude we ask of our employees. The last core value, Civic Responsibility, propels those behaviors into action.
We define Civic Responsibility as an obligation to engage in activities that benefit the lives of others. We do this by participating in community, religious, government, and voluntary associations, and donating time and effort to advocate for civil, economic, environmental, and quality of life issues. As an essential component of our core values, we define it as giving back to our community by donating our time, talents, energy, and resources to worthwhile causes within our communities and society.
To that end, it is imperative to seek job candidates who embody generosity of spirit, and who exhibit strong character. Employing civic-minded individuals and working alongside them in donating time to worthy causes builds character and provides needed services to the community. Our team members have the mindset of giving back to the community; it’s in the very fabric of their being. Awareness and action is an important part of The Jarrett Difference, and management sets the example by demonstrating servant leadership.
We encourage our staff to participate in independent and company-organized community outreach programs. Our yearly Civic Responsibility Day allows employees to devote time and resources to various projects. Last year, our interns spent the day organizing donations, cleaning, and doing yard maintenance at the Salvation Army. Other initiatives include donations to OneEighty, a nonprofit integrated health system in Wooster; Random Acts of Kindness Month; and a monthly jeans day, to raise money for essential community services.
As I write this, our nation and the entire world is in the grips of the COVID-19. Shopping centers and restaurants were closed for a period of time in order to abate the spread of the virus, and some employees are working from home. Some jobs could be performed at home offices efficiently, but many cannot. Hospital, emergency services, grocery and pharmacy, over-the-road and delivery drivers, technicians, etc.—these jobs are considered essential and staff must report to work in order to serve their communities and keep the economy going.
Many companies have stepped up to support their communities in any way they can. Automotive factories produced medical equipment and ventilators and industries with the proper components were outputting hand sanitizer. In our industry, transportation companies continued to keep supply chains moving. At Jarrett, our warehousing employees used our PackShip trucks to help move extra beds and medical equipment from Wayne College to Aultman Hospital.
At this time of heightened awareness, you have an opportunity to refocus your priorities for the good of your neighbors, your community, your state, and country. Become a citizen of the world, and encourage your employees by demonstrating a generous attitude and good works. Your team members will follow your lead and embody the ideas and actions of civic responsibility.