Values That Spark Vision: Simplicity, Clarity & Empowerment at BVL
At Brand Vaughan, we never want to rest easy and we definitely don’t want to become complacent. We want to take the time to appreciate our wins from the past, review our goals for the future and consistently look for ways to improve our team members, our business and our industry.
In 2020, we want to remain true to our core values of “Strength Lies Within” and OARS by supporting them with specific goals around simplicity, clarity and empowerment.
Simplicity is at the core of Brand Vaughan’s values: It means that everyone on the BVL team can define what’s expected of them and has the tools they need to reach those goals. But “simple” doesn’t mean that team members at Brand Vaughan can’t tackle complex tasks. It just means that there are systems in place to handle those tasks, so that outdated or manual processes don’t gum up the company’s process. “Technology has been transformative for our company and this industry,” explains Chip Vaughan, CEO at Brand Vaughan. “We’ve come a long way from handwritten ledgers and sales invoices. We’ve slowly evolved from fax machines, Nextels and walkie talkies to state-of-the-art computer systems, sophisticated saw cutting and door manufacturing equipment.”
This technology keeps the entire team on the same page, so that goals are visible and feel more achievable. By using updated technology, Brand Vaughan’s processes are simplified and streamlined.
Brand Vaughan values clarity, “so our metrics are available to the entire team,” explains Jon Vaughan. “And we make those metrics easy to understand.” When goals and metrics are accessible to everyone, a clear path towards those goals can be established and tracked. Technology makes that information available, because if the data and goals aren’t clear: “That gets nobody engaged,” explains Jon Vaughan. “That gets nobody excited about achieving goals.” Clarity means team members have transparent and measurable ways to make progress. And with that kind of vision, team members at Brand Vaughan can make better decisions on the job. This creates efficiency on a team, something the construction industry could use more of. “If construction-sector productivity were to catch up with that of the total economy — and it can — this would boost the sector’s value added by an estimated $1.6 trillion,“ according to McKinsey.
That requires everyone on the team to share the same purpose and vision, but it also means that each individual needs to be supported to make decisions and take on challenges.
“Enablement is the opposite of empowerment” according to BVL president, Jon Vaughan. “We don’t want to do the hard tasks for you or show you ways around your struggles, we want to empower you to figure out the right solution.” The role that each team member plays at Brand Vaughan is important, and BVL empowers everyone that works there to perform at their highest potential. No matter which job someone is hired for at BVL, they’re expected to grow in the role and own that responsibility. “Every shipment, every invoice and every interaction” plays an important role in how Brand Vaughan serves its customers. The Installed Services department at Brand Vaughan was built from the ground up by John Donkar, who has been at BVL for 7 years. “We built the department based on service,” says John. “It’s full circle, and completely different from sales. We really have to own the actual product that we’re selling,” he explains. Because the department is service-focused, John and his team handle issues “in a finite amount of time, within 24 hours.” Brand Vaughan’s commitment to empowerment means the Installed Services team is able to execute projects more efficiently. John is trusted to act autonomously, so he can spend more time responding to and serving customers. “And Chip and Jon (Vaughan) are available as a sounding board, if there are questions or we need to check-in,” explains John Donkar.
In order to serve all of his team members and keep them committed to the values BVL has established, Jon Vaughan started the Java with Jon program a few years ago.
Java with Jon is a regular event where Jon asks every team member at Brand Vaughan if they have any feedback about working in their job roles and on their teams. Getting direct feedback like this gives Jon valuable insights and keeps the leadership at Brand Vaughan accountable to their team. The Java with Jon program also encourages the values of simplicity, clarity, and empowerment at Brand Vaughan, so that team members stay engaged in their roles. If team members need tools to perform the job, or want to grow in their role at the company, Brand Vaughan ensures they’ll get the opportunity they’re after. Russ French has run the Engineered Wood Products department at BVL since 1999, where he’s trained his design team to meet Brand Vaughan’s high standards for service. “Some designers are trained from scratch. I’ve taken guys straight out of college or people who took CAD and taught them how to design from there,” explains Russ. Whether it’s delivering shipments to a job site or handling customer calls, every job, every task, and every team member at Brand Vaughan matters. You can see a few other ways that Brand Vaughan celebrates its team members here.