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By Darryl Stewart
blog Sep 18

Take your work seriously

You go into a local independent coffee shop to enjoy a quick fix and sit in peace for a few minutes before you head back to the office. The single server behind the counter is taking an order for someone else and another person is waiting for their drink at the end of the counter. The server greets you with a smile and says she will be right with you. Wow, you think, this is a simple thing that rarely happens. Most servers these days don’t take the time to acknowledge new people, and warm smiles are far too rare. As you wait your turn you notice the server is happy with her work, engaging with customers and working very efficiently at the same time. The place is spotless, and you wonder why it is not busier in here. You are going to recommend this place!

Soon enough your drink is up. You settle into a chair, ready to enjoy the coffee and the nice atmosphere. Everything seems perfect. Then you taste your drink. It is awful; it tastes burnt. One of the worst cups of coffee you have ever had. As you sit there wondering how things could have gone so wrong, you watch the barista make another drink. You realize she is doing it without much care and way too fast from what you have come to expect in a high-end coffee shop. Your wonderful impression is shattered and the far-above-average customer service has been forgotten with the terrible attention to quality. You think either the server has never been trained in how to make a great espresso or, if she has, she is cutting corners. You thought they cared based on the welcome, but with such poor quality, it seems they don’t really care much at all.

It is this sort of situation that undermines many caring organizations and caring leaders. As organizations, we need to make sure the people carrying out the work have the right aptitude for the job, and this needs to be combined with the right training, coaching, and high standards.

We call doing the basics right “Taking your work seriously” at IBEX Payroll and it is our second core value. This includes everything I mentioned above along with each of us taking personal responsibility for things that we commit to, doing them to the best of our ability, and committing ourselves to constant learning. We aim to ensure that the proverbial espresso tastes great every time so that the caring culture embodied in our first core value of – “Showing you care for people” – is not undermined.

I think the interplay between our first two core values of “Showing you care for people” and “Taking your work seriously” defines our organization. I can’t imagine many organizations that would not benefit from living by these two principles. I know a certain coffee shop in Calgary that certainly would!

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IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.