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Are Your Vendors A Good Fit For Your Company Culture?

By Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer

Being a “good fit” for a company does not pertain to only your employees. Having a healthy company culture requires every human interaction to be in alignment with your organization, including your employees, customers AND vendors.

This seems like a simple philosophy but is often overlooked. We “settle” for less than stellar employees because “good talent is hard to find”. We put up with jerky customers because we need the sales. And some of us even put up with rude vendors who fail to deliver exactly what we want. Why do we settle for less?

This came up recently with a client that is experiencing rapid growth and called on us to assist with re-aligning their company culture as they onboard new employees. They were unhappy with the training program a previous vendor created and thus never implemented it. Instead they stuck the program on a shelf and accepted a zero return on investment.

As a trainer, this type of situation annoys the heck out of me. It gives training a bad name.

Why didn’t the vendor understand the needs of the client?

Why didn’t they deliver results?

Why did they waste the client’s money?

So, I asked that client to allow us to review and evaluate the training modules to see why it was “boring” in the client’s opinion. Meanwhile during several conversations the client shared with me that their founder and CEO is the foundation of their culture. He is the inspiration to their success and fast growth. He is the face of the company. This got me pretty excited. And I blurted I love that. You’re an ideal client for us. You get it.”

The client sent me the training modules and I eagerly consumed all of them. And they were boring and non-cohesive, just like she said. Plus, they were designed for other employees to serve as facilitators of the training without a train-the-trainer component (another topic I’d live to delve into another time). But the biggest disconnect was the major lack of presence of the CEO in any of the training, aside from one short video clip from a television news interview. I was totally confused and disappointed. I wanted to “meet” this dynamic CEO I heard so much about.

If I was confused and got no sense of what the culture really was about, then surely so were any new employees going through this training. My head was spinning with questions. After reviewing all of the modules I reached back out to my point of contact (the HR Director) for another meeting. We had hit it off from day one and I felt extremely comfortable being very candid with her.

I started by validating her and said, “Oh my goodness, so boring and confusing. Have you actually rolled out this training?” That’s when I learned that they had not implemented it. And then I asked the big question, “Why doesn’t the CEO have a bigger presence when you said he IS the culture of the company?” Honestly, these training modules made me doubt her for a moment. I had wondered to myself Is this another company talking a good game but the CEO really isn’t as involved with the culture as they say?”

And what she revealed startled me. She said, “Honestly, I think the vendor hates our CEO and I think that’s why the training turning out the way it did.” It was a confidential story about past historical events that had occurred and clearly impacted the vendor’s judgement (and ethics, in my opinion).

Doing business together is a two-way street that requires proper vetting on both sides. Shame on this vendor to do such a disservice, and for the client, I think they probably missed some cues along the way, in addition to trusting the vendor. Like in any relationship, you want and need to trust your partner. You need to be on the same team with the same core values. Your missions need to align. And you need to take time to get to know one another up front and set expectations before making a bigger commitment to each other. Don’t settle.

Are you a CEO trying to determine and reach your organization’s ultimate destination OR a business owner feeling stuck in a manager mindset instead of killing it in your destined CEO role?

We have solutions! Learn more at the following links or call me at 843-597-6393:

If you’re feeling stuck, it’s time to pivot! 

-Gina

ABOUT THE POST AUTHOR

Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer, knows how toGina Trimarco, Pivot10 Results, Business Coach, Sales Trainer pivot to profits from problems and find joy through the process. Her philosophy is that performance pays and people need to be trained to perform on the stage of business to achieve results.

Gina successfully pivoted her coaching firm, Gina & Company, into the new Pivot10 Results, a training and development company that helps business teams to quickly adapt their communications and engagement skills in leadership, customer and sales to achieve results by providing them experiential learning tools and strategies.