This once-small company that’s stayed true to its purpose to build relationships, impact lives and glorify God, has grown from 30 to 90 employees and increased revenue by 7-fold from $4 million to $29 million. Growing their culture has had a lot to do with it. Six insights from their president tells the story.
Thirty seven years ago, Troy Meachum joined his family’s business, ACR Supply Co., which today is North Carolina’s leading HVACR wholesale distributor.
Troy, who became ACR’s General Manager in 1993 told me, “We needed a direction and a vision that focused on our people. Even though our vision statement included the phrase, ‘a healthy work environment,’ I wasn’t sure our company had one at the time.”
In 1997, Troy began to focus on their employee culture. The culture was moderately healthy, with room to improve—which they did. Then, just this year, to find out for sure, Troy led ACR Supply Co. to complete its first BCWI Employee Engagement Survey. It proved they had a Flourishing Employee Culture landing in the top 20th percentile of our BCWI’s database.
If you really want to improve the health of your culture in ways that Build relationships, Impact lives and Glorify God (ACR’s “BIG Purpose Statement), then why not place these six wise sayings from Troy where all of life’s most meaningful items belong–on your refrigerator door!
1. “We couldn’t continue to sanction the incompetence of negative behavior that was contributing to an unhealthy work environment.”
Even before BCWI’s founding, Troy and his team understood the importance of culture, as he and his team faced the hard work of getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and moving the culture in the right direction.
2. “Leadership means living it out every day.”
Troy and his team put legs on ACR’s “BIG” purpose statement by pouring hours of training, listening and walking their talk of responsibility, accountability and compassion.
3. “If your people aren’t growing, then your company isn’t growing.”
By the second or third year of ACR’s wildly successful 3-year Future Leaders rigorous, life-giving leadership training program for team members that desired to grow in their headship ability—and many of them wanted in. Today, Future Leaders, remains the backbone of a growing, maturing their employee base.
Over time, ministry becomes your work, and work becomes your ministry.”
4. “Over time, ministry becomes your work, and work becomes your ministry.”
There’s no greater evidence of this than how Troy companioned a colleague through the grief of he and his wife when their daughter died in an auto accident on the night of her high school prom. Today, the man, a 30 plus year employee is helping Troy lead ACR’s culture transformation.
5. “We tell our team members (employees), the BCWI survey is like a report card they’re using to grade leadership.”
As a result, ACR’s culture is filled with Humble, Hungry & Smart team members, which just happens to be three of the eight essential factors of our FLOURISH model that drive culture.
6.“Dead fish begin to stink in the head, every time.”
Troy makes no bones about it: “As a leader, if you have a stinky culture, there’s nowhere else to look but in the mirror. Culture always comes back to the responsibility of leadership, every time.”
Today, the culture at ACR Supply Co. is healthier than it’s ever been. Though not perfect, the Christ-like integrity of Troy to commit 50% of his time to one-to-one coaching and mentoring of his people, is truly inspiring.
The final question of their internal survey asks:
Did leadership take into consideration all the thoughts and ideas from the previous year’s survey and act on them?
Rarely, these days, do you see a 100% response rate to anything. Yet, every ACR employee who took a follow-up internal survey–100% of ACR’s staff, responded “Yes, leadership listened and acted.”
Troy Meachum has made me a believer in leaders, like him, who are people of their word:
“As followers of Christ, we’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything we can to create organizations where God’s light shines brightly across the marketplace and where our own people love coming to work every day.”
It’s Your Turn!
What one culture suggestion or comment would do you want to ponder, pray about, or even reach out to with a personal email, hand-written note or phone call?
Stay True to Your Mission—and Flourish!
Mark Maxwell, President
Prairie College, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada
The Employee Engagement Survey
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