Recently, I received a phone call from a Remedy developer who works for a large systems integrator. He had been on a project that RightStar was involved with and, although we had finished with the job, we were working on other sites with the same integrator. Our conversation went something like this:
Developer: I’m interested in leaving and would like to talk to you about a position at RightStar.
Me: We’d love to have you, but don’t you think your company would be upset with us if we hired away one of their best developers right in the middle of a job?
Developer: Well, they’ve changed their benefits significantly and I don’t think anyone would blame me for leaving.
Me: Are you sure that’s something you can’t work out with your employer? What makes you want to join RightStar?
Developer: Well, my company tried to hire one of your RightStar developers several times and he turned us down. I figured RightStar must be a great company if your guy wouldn’t come to work for us, even for more money!
So what is the right thing to do? In this case, the developer called me back to tell me the benefits issue had been worked out and he would see the project through to its end. Although it was very difficult for me to turn down a potential superstar, hiring him would have likely damaged our relationship with the integrator and jeopardized future business.
It’s in this spirit that I’m happy to announce that RightStar was once again nominated for the National Capital Business Ethics Award. We were a semifinalist last year, not bad at all, but I’d like to see us win this year. What an honor that would be! While we needn’t get an award to strive for a high standard of ethics in our business, making improvements in that area will always make us winners. This week I had the privilege to sit down with Kathy Albarado, CEO and President of Hilos HR, last year’s NCBE award winner, to see what I could learn from her. She graciously shared some ideas that we’ve put into practice here at RightStar:
Better onboarding and training. RightStar is implementing a more formal onboarding process that will include training on RightStar’s core business, corporate culture, policies, and ethical standards.
Improved performance appraisal process. Since continual feedback is important, I’m bringing in an HR consultant to see how we can improve our annual review process before rolling it out this year.
More employee participation in community service. To promote community involvement, RightStar is sponsoring a day in May for our staff members to work together on various service projects—think of Donald Trump’s show The Apprentice. The winning team will be treated to dinner at a nice restaurant.
RightStar encourages its staff members to reach out into their communities and give back. Recently, RightStar consultant Crystal Little helped to organize the MCiS 5K Run to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a charitable organization that provides programs and services to severely injured service members. At the end of the day, it’s about doing what’s right. That’s what Ethics is all about. If we do the right thing, right things will happen. And that makes us all winners!