The Better Business Bureau sometimes may have to call out companies and organizations with bad business practices. However, it is equally important to spotlight companies with exceptional business behavior as well. That’s why BBB Foundation began the Torch Award for Ethics. This year, Sure-Dry Basement Systems, Inc. became a winner of the 2015 BBB Torch Award for Ethics in the 11-50 employee-sized category.
Douglas Newhouse, President of Sure-Dry Basement Systems, is the leader behind this strong, ethical organization. BBB had the opportunity to ask Newhouse some important questions about character and ethics, and we hope that others can learn from this award-winning organization.
Tell us how ethics plays a role in the branding of Sure-Dry?
“Ethics defines who we are. Before we publish what we do or how we do it we have already defined who we are. The Sure-Dry name represents a standard of excellence beginning with a high ethical standard of how we present ourselves to our customers. We believe that the true satisfaction of our customers only comes with our commitment to their care in a professional way. We believe that in order to be professional we must have a high standard of ethics. Ethics and professionalism go hand in hand. We make a point to mention in our branding efforts, the thousands of satisfied customers we have accrued since our inception in 1994. We never dissemble, embellish or misrepresent who we are, nor do we manipulate or distort facts to create a false expectation or conclusion for those we wish to serve honorably.“
What did you care about most when you were ten years old?
“When I was ten years old I was curious about why people behaved certain ways. I tried to figure out how I should present myself. I concluded that words and actions had consequences. Truth could always be defended with honor but a lie always needed another lie to support it and eventually when the supporting lies become more unbelievable truth would declare that I am a liar, which is not an honorable thing to be. I cared about how I would be thought of by others and wanted to be thought of as one who made life better for those around me, not worse.”
In your line of work, expertise on the subject matter is very important. How do you insure that your employees are fully knowledgeable on the subject and trained well enough to effectively fix the client's problem?
“We have an extensive training program that covers the details of everything we do. After a considerable amount of video training and interaction with a trainer, new hires are always pared with seasoned veterans for on the job training. We believe that experience is ultimately the best teacher so we train by experience and allow advancement in position when an employee is able to demonstrate that they can consistently uphold our standard of workmanship and professional communication to our customers and the individual’s co-workers.”
Labor job, such as Sure-Dry Basement Systems, can get very physically and emotionally exhausting to employees. How do you motivate your employees to go above and beyond expectations of both you and the client?
“At Sure-Dry we tie pay to performance. We incentivize high performance and quality workmanship with a bonus program that gives the employees an incentive to perform at a high level for every customer.”
In addition to their services, Sure-Dry is actively involved in many community organizations. How/why did your company get so involved? How do you chose what volunteer opportunities to participate in, have any events in particular stuck out to you?
“Sure-Dry is not just a service business but a service minded business. Serving is what we do and the way we think. We like to participate in volunteer opportunities that directly affect people in need. We like to touch people’s lives individually and locally. We would rather make a big difference in a few lives than a seeming unnoticeable difference in many lives. Make a Wish foundation has been dear to our hearts in that we have an opportunity to create a joyful memory in the life of someone who’s life is otherwise full of stress and discouragement. The Menasha Boys and Girls club is also a project that we are particularly proud to be a part of as it will positively impact the lives of boys and girls in our local community for many years to come.”
These are just a few examples of how Sure-Dry Basement Systems, Inc. works to maintain ethical practices. How does your company strive to be ethical?
Visit bbb.org/wisconsin/torch-award to learn more about the BBB Torch Award for Ethics competition or to nominate a deserving company or charity.