Front and centre on the Qualifirst career page is a phrase that is both a challenge and an invitation: “Take on a role where you’ll actually be able to make a difference.”
Why do we say that? And is it true?
When people read such challenges it can be easy for them to think that it’s true for someone else and not for them. At Qualifirst, for example, it could be easy to think that such a statement would not apply to warehouse employees, because traditionally, warehouse positions are not seen as being influential. However I, as well as four other executives all started in the warehouse. If we had truly believed that the challenge was not applicable to us, we would not be in the key roles that we currently hold.
So at Qualifirst, it is true.
You can make a difference, if you share our values
We are a company with a mission.
Our mission is to help improve the quality of people’s food and create more opportunities for people to eat better and healthier.
This is not easy to do while still remaining profitable.
So when we look for people who might appear to be a fit for us, we are looking for people who know how to contribute.
Contributing is not just doing a job
It is about being fully engaged and working with the whole company to help accomplish a mission. It is also about sharing this mission and the values that support it, and this is something we look for in every position, including warehouse, sales and executive.
It is not necessary that our employees share our passion for food, however they do need to share our values; and everyone seems to develop a passion for food sooner or later anyway, after having been exposed to our culture and environment.
This type of engagement — help accomplish a mission — has benefits in both directions, since we fully engage and grow with those who share our values, and we stand by them during periods of personal challenge.
A company’s life is much like a person’s life
It has both good times and bad times, and things change along the way.
I have noticed, for example, that we as a company have moved from a very controlling and productive culture to a more engaged but less productive culture.
The pendulum has swung a little too far in one direction. Although the engagement part of this equation is good – we plan to continue all the positive changes that have increased happiness – at the same time we need to win back the productivity that has waned, and then do better.
To do that we need to reach back to the four values that started the company:
- and contribution,
and start actively living them again.
I have asked for help from each and every Qualifirst employee to achieve this; to return to our values while maintaining and supporting our new culture of engagement.
So, yes, each employee can make a difference, and the actions and attitudes that we share will allow us to continue to grow and to spread our passion for food to more and more people.
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