By Ben Peterson, Former CEO
At Blue Raven Solar, we have three values:
- Develop a High-Trust Culture
- Be Efficient
- Continuously Improve
We have seen how our mission and values set us apart from other solar installers. We know our fierce dedication to keeping them at the front of our minds throughout our processes allows us to follow through on our mission. These values are in place not only to help us achieve our mission statement, which is to make homeowners’ lives better, but also to help us become better team members!
Each value is accompanied by four statements trying to encapsulate what living that value means to us and our relationships with each other at Blue Raven Solar, our customers, and other stakeholders.
The statements we have discussed already include:
1A: Keep commitments to homeowners, sales reps, employees, installers, technicians, vendors, and investors.
1B: Close the loop – report back to each other.
We will be talking about the third today: Value 1C: Respect and Empower One Another
Why this Value is Important to Us
Several articles have stated 90% of companies in the (US) have specific values they uphold and reference often. Obviously, the percentage of people in each of these organizations who know their company’s values is likely lower.
Value 1C contains two instructions: respect others and empower others. Respect and empowerment are similar, but different, and both are crucial to giving our team members the value they deserve.
Sales and Operations Must Work Together
The idea of respecting others is likely somehow expressed in most value statements. At Blue Raven Solar, we talk at length about how sales and operations need to respect each other because we need each other to be successful. In typical organizations, the sales side of the business thinks operators are like wet blankets, always weighing on the downside or telling sales why things are difficult/impossible. Operators typically think salespeople over-promise or have a naïve view of what it takes to build a product.
Whether sales or operations is ultimately right depends on the issue in question and is largely irrelevant. What matters is both sides of the business respect each other and appreciate the differences in approach, mindset, and skillset. You cannot have a great business without strong sales, and you cannot have a great business without top-notch fulfillment. We strive to be on each other’s sides so we can create the best products and experiences.
The Difference Between the Two
Respect cannot be faked. It comes from what we believe about each other and their contributions, and we must do our best to show each other respect so we can continue to create a culture of trust.
Empowerment is different than respect.
Empowerment means giving people a chance to do big things, to take the lead, to try something new. It means supporting them from the beginning to the end, and especially when they fail. Authentic empowerment requires respect, but it also requires one to step back and allow others to lead free from micromanagement. Naturally, it builds on the two previous statements expressed in the first value of keeping commitments and closing the loop. We need to do these things to build the trust necessary for us to empower one another with tasks and new projects.
How Empowerment and Respect Established a Clear Direction Forward
When we first started Blue Raven Solar, we pivoted our business model within our first year. Without empowering key people and trusting them to learn new things, we would have failed. I am grateful for the lessons of respect and empowerment from our early days and for the reminder these two principles are just as central to building trust today.
We asked employees how they experience Value 1C at Blue Raven Solar. Here is what a few of them said:
My suggestions are taken seriously and can enact change.
I feel really empowered by the feedback I receive. It is always presented with the feeling of wanting me to do better. It is done very respectfully and considerate of my abilities and responsibilities.
Everybody here wants to succeed and does their work to make it happen. I think we work well together. You do not see many people at Blue Raven Solar who purposefully clog up the pipeline.
We have a great culture here. We listen to others' ideas and build upon differing opinions to help towards our ultimate goals.
Not doing for others what they can do for themselves, but rather helping them to gain the needed skills.
Every time I talk on the phone with another department, they are kind and willing to help me better understand the process. I have also felt the urge to make everyone knowledgeable of what they do, giving me “power” to resolve customer’s questions.
We all respect the work of our fellow coworkers, and we strive to make sure that we do our jobs to the best of our ability.
From the initial onboarding process, to being fully trained, everyone has been willing to answer questions and give positive feedback. Understanding that we have all been new at one point in time has helped me to feel comfortable asking questions and jumping in.
We are a diverse group of individuals working toward advancing a great cause such as renewable energy. This is only possible when a diverse group has respect for each other despite many differences. This mutual respect in my opinion then creates “power” for one another.
We can all be so much more successful because we work together and always have each other’s backs.
Everyone at Blue Raven Solar is kind and respects each other and the role they play in the company. There is a culture of complimenting.
In every department I have been in, I have been respected and empowered by my co-workers. I feel comfortable when I do not know something and feel safe asking questions and feel backed up when I make decisions.
I have always been impressed with the meetings at Blue Raven Solar. They are a place where constructive disagreement can happen. Everyone’s input and opinions are respected, and when an action list is decided on, those tasked with assignments know they have the support needed to make it happen.
At Blue Raven Solar we have a culture where even when we disagree, I believe there is mutual respect between people at all levels of the organization. We all work in a way that feeds off of one another and promotes a culture of improvement. We all give each other the support to pursue value.
Although questions arise and change is always happening, those in lead positions and those that have more experience are kind and respectful to those that are newer. They are willing to help, especially when a mistake is made.
I often tell new people that they can go to anyone in any department if they have any questions or need help on an account, even if they have never spoken to the person. People here genuinely want to do the best we can for our customers and because of that, everyone does everything they can to help each other out.
My coworkers are great at letting me know that I am succeeding, and they are not competitive in the wrong way. We all respect and encourage each other in our success.
Delivering on Our Promises
Seeing how our team thinks so highly of 1C is quite energizing. I know we have the right type of people here, at Blue Raven Solar. People who want to succeed and to help other team members. I am a proud leader of thousands of individuals who respect and empower one another every single day at work and in their personal lives. I am always proud to hear about any situation where Value 1C is an inspiration for good work.
Our mission is to make homeowners’ lives better by reducing their energy bills, by increasing their reliance on clean and abundant renewable energy, and by providing a world-class customer experience through a reliable sales process and a speedy, high-quality installation.
Through respecting and empowering one another, we are able to provide the world-class customer experience that we promise. Additionally, our processes are reliable and trustworthy. Developing a high-trust culture is important and through respect and empowerment, we can strengthen our company culture each day.
Go Solar with Blue Raven Solar
With Blue Raven Solar’s mission and values at the forefront of our business and operations, we know we can provide each homeowner with the best solar journey.
Does installing solar panels on your roof as a renewable energy source sound like something you want to be part of? You can experience the future of energy, starting with a free quote from one of our solar experts. Get yours today and see our mission and values in action.