Whether we’re ready or not, the world around us is rapidly evolving. It’s crucial that businesses and industry leaders shift their ideologies and operations to better fit with society’s current expectations and needs. One of the largest areas that needs refocusing is the way the blue collar world thinks and conducts business. The blue collar industries are known for being old fashioned and often unwilling to modify with the times. This needs to change. The livelihood of blue collar companies and their employees depends on their ability to grow and evolve with the ever changing needs and wants of their customers.
From a big picture standpoint, it’s simple, really. If a company cannot provide what a customer is looking for, it will not survive. Oftentimes, blue collar industries provide essential services like car maintenance or construction. Although a company may be able to provide these services, there are many competitors who are willing and able to do the same plus more. Nowadays, beyond a job well-done, customers want a friendly experience and the satisfaction of knowing that their money is going to a company with truly good people. When it comes to doing business, if a customer isn’t 100% satisfied, they can easily go elsewhere next time. This is where businesses in the blue collar space often struggle.
In a world with a booming economy and competition on every block, companies need to stand out and go above and beyond for their customers to offer the friendly service and customer experience that they desire. The blue collar industries can be intimidating and unwelcoming, largely because of their relation to the average consumer. Most people just do not have a house built or replace their radiator very often so there is little familiarity for the standard customer. It is time to change. For companies looking to grow their business and improve both customer and employee satisfaction, the only way to grow is to evolve with the times.
For many folks, this may seem like an obvious transition that companies must make. But for the blue collar workforce and leadership, operations seem to have stayed mostly the same for decades. What many fail to understand is that customers expect the same level of friendliness and empathy from employees wherever they go. Whether they’re asking a grocery clerk for help or inquiring about a product to a car mechanic, every customer wants to be treated with respect and expects a cordial interaction.
A few things that Shane has done differently at RMFP that have shaped the way that the company evolved are allowing his employees to operate on intuition based on their situational awareness, instilling trust in customers by removing unpopular policies, and constantly aiming for improvement of company culture to yield higher satisfaction and success. He has changed the way his own blue collar niche of the world operates, and it’s given the company an incredible advantage in the trajectory of RMFP.
One of the biggest transitions that RMFP has made over the years is their removal of outdated policies and the transfer of power to the employees. Instead of operating on rules and strict guidelines, employees are taught to use their intuition in different situations to come up with the best outcome they can. Every instance is different, so there’s no reason to have the same regulated solution for everyone. This allows customers to explain themselves and employees to make decisions based on what they think is best for all parties involved. This trust in employees has been monumental in their empowerment, confidence, and production as a result.
In addition to trusting employees to do the right thing, RMFP has also extended this trust to its customers. For example, when Shane took over as CEO, he got rid of the rigid return policies. Instead of focusing on losing money, he was focused on losing customers due to these strict rules. Once the return policies were made more lenient, customers responded well and ended up returning less products than ever and retention rates soared. When you trust customers, more often than not, they’re going to treat the company right in return.
Lastly, a huge adjustment that was made at RMFP was the constant endeavor for improvement in company culture. Company culture is an incredibly overlooked and undervalued aspect in the blue collar industries. As younger generations begin to take on the workforce, company culture is a huge incentive for them to join the team and continually work hard day-in and day-out. A good company culture will make employees love their work environment, thus working harder and benefiting the company even more. The industries that are not able to adapt to a more modern and empathetic company culture will likely suffer as the rest of the world evolves. For essential industries in the blue collar realm, company culture will make or break the success of business in the decades to come.
It’s time to bring the human element back into business. Trusting employees and customers to make the right decisions will leave them satisfied and continually coming back for more. The world has a higher level of expectation as technology advances and culture improves, it’s crucial that companies can keep up with the demands and needs of their customer base. By implementing this new way of thinking, blue collar workers will be on the path to success as their industries continue to evolve and grow. As the wise Sadhguru once said, “That which knows how to bend will not break.” Those who remain flexible in a constantly changing environment and marketplace will never fail. As for blue collar workers, there’s never been a better time to shift culture and evolve with the times to improve business, customer satisfaction, and company morale heading into the future.