When I started Invictus 20 years ago, it took some time for me to learn my way and figure out what I wanted the company to be. When I decided in 2017 to turn Invictus into Invictus Professional Snowfighters, Ltd, the company became 100 percent focused on snow and ice management. It felt good. The business was focused, and we were profitable.
Next, I needed to establish a vision for the company. Who is Invictus now? Where are we going? How are we going to get there?
Part of that vision is learning and living the core values of the company. At Invictus, our values are the lens through which we evaluate everything – how we hire; how we mentor; how we treat each other, our vendors and our customers; etc. But before we could start living those values, I had to establish them.
When I first started thinking about values, I had 12 in mind. I could never remember them all, and neither could my employees, which was not helpful So, I settled upon four core company values:
- Wow through service
- Have thirst for learning
- Enjoy giving
- Embrace change
Through these values we found our purpose – to enhance the lives of all the people we work with, from our fellow employees, to our vendors, suppliers, contractors and customers. No matter who we’re dealing with, we want that person to feel like we are, in some way, enhancing their lives.
At Invictus, we live our company values and purpose. Every member of the team has learned about them, and each new employee learns about them before day one. In fact, we only hire people who believe in our values and are prepared to take them seriously.
Having a strong set of values and purpose has created a strong bond between employees, and they feel a stronger connection to the business. The Invictus work environment is laid back for the most part, but everyone works hard because they want to do a good job and they want the business to succeed. And it has.
Consider these results:
- Invictus doubled its revenue from 2012-2016.
- Invictus is now one of the leading companies servicing the top malls in Vancouver.
- Invictus became the first company in the Pacific Northwest to become ISO/SN 9001certified, a certification received through an independent, third-party audit that focuses on processes and procedures that adhere to service quality, as well as the implementation of the Industry Standards for the professional snow and ice management industry.
Finding Invictus’ values took some time, but once we did, and everyone started living those values, the results were obvious. Employees were happier, job performance increased, and business boomed. Trust me, take the time to identify your company values, make the investment in your employees to learn them, and in the end, you’ll be glad you did.
Snow Magazine Contributing Editor Brad Caton is the founder and CEO of Invictus Professional Snowfighters in British Columbia