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Our 31 Fundamentals

We live these 31 Fundamentals – everyday.  They are not in any particular order.  None of them are more important as any one of them.  These Fundamentals capture the behaviors required to nurture and maintain Sentinel’s unique and winning culture. 

  1. BE A FANATIC ABOUT RESPONSE TIME: Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by e-mail. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we’re “on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.
  2. HONOR COMMITMENTS: Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for work. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored.
  3. DELIVER RESULTS: While effort is important, our customers expect results. Follow-up on everything and take responsibility to ensure that tasks get completed. Set high goals and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
  4. DO THE RIGHT THING, ALWAYS: Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.
  5. WORK ON YOURSELF: Be a lifelong learner. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, to increase your skills, and to become a greater expert. Be resourceful about learning and sharing best practices.
  6. FIND A WAY: Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. See issues through to their completion:
  7. WALK IN YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SHOES: Understand your customers’ world. Know their challenges and frustrations. See the world from their perspective. The better you understand them, the more effectively you can anticipate and meet their needs.
  8. DELIVER LEGENDARY SERVICE: It’s all about the Sentinel experience. With every experience, do the little things, as well as the big things, that delight people. Make every interaction stand out for its helpfulness. Create the “WOW” factor that turns customers into raving fans. This includes both internal and external customers.
  9. GET CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS: Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates.
  10. BE PROCESS DRIVEN: Strong processes are the foundation of organizational effectiveness. Use our processes to our customers’ advantage. Help create and improve systems and processes that are scalable and that support our ability to perform with consistency.
  11. MAKE QUALITY PERSONAL: Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?” or “Can we ask a customer to pay for this?”
  12. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THE CUSTOMER: In all situations, do what’s best for the customer, even if it’s to our own short-term detriment. Put their needs ahead of our own. There’s no greater way to build a reputation than to steadfastly do what’s right for others. Every day.
  13. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS: Missing just one detail can have an enormous impact on a job. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things done right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work and get the details right the first time.
  14. BE POSITIVE: You have the power to choose your attitude. Choose to be joyful, optimistic, and enthusiastic. To keep your attitude working for you, focus on what you can control when everything seems out of control. Your attitude is contagious. Spread optimism and positive energy.
  15. BE PROACTIVE: Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and addressing them in advance. Preventing issues is always better than fixing them.
  16. BE CURIOUS: In the search for the best solutions, challenge and question what you don’t understand. Don’t accept anything at “face value” if it doesn’t make sense to you. Be curious, ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently to the answers. Dig deeper to go beyond the expected. Ask the extra question.
  17. PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM-SOLVING: Demonstrate a relentless solution focus, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes so we don’t make the same mistake twice. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.
  18. ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT: Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
  19. EMBRACE CHANGE: What got us here is not the same as what will get us to the next level. Get outside your comfort zone, rather than stubbornly hanging on to old ways of doing things.
  20. LISTEN GENEROUSLY: Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand.
  21. SPEAK STRAIGHT: Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.
  22. SHOW MEANINGFUL APPRECIATION: Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all directions throughout our organization.
  23. BE RELENTLESS ABOUT IMPROVEMENT: Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your work and our processes to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. “Because we’ve always done it that way” is not a reason. Guard against complacency. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more efficiently.
  24. BE A MENTOR: The best way to influence others is through your own example. Walk the talk. Take responsibility, both formally and informally, to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others to success.
  25. TREASURE, PROTECT, AND PROMOTE OUR REPUTATION: We’re all responsible for, and benefit from, the Sentinel image and reputation. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation and be a proud ambassador for the companies.
  26. MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Be an active part of your community. Give back by contributing your time, effort, and where appropriate, your money, to make your community better. Use your annual “volunteer day” for a cause that’s important to you. You can and do make a difference.
  27. DELIVER AN EFFORTLESS EXPERIENCE: Find ways to make working with you and Sentinel easier. Provide simple and complete instructions. When in doubt, do more rather than pushing the work back to them. Work to streamline our processes. Simplify everything. Be ridiculously helpful.
  28. COMMUNICATE TO BE UNDERSTOOD: Know your audience. Write and speak in a way that they can understand. Avoid using internal lingo, acronyms, and industry jargon. Use the simplest possible explanations. Remember, your communication determines responses in others.
  29. TAKE PRIDE IN OUR APPEARANCE: Your personal appearance makes a strong statement about the pride you take in your performance. Dress neatly and professionally. The appearance of our work environment makes a similar statement about the quality of our work. Take responsibility to see that everything in our environment is safe, clean, neat, and professional.
  30. PRACTICE THE “HUMAN TOUCH": Listen for, and pay attention to, the things that make people unique. Use handwritten notes, personal cards, and timely phone calls to acknowledge them. Genuine compassion can’t be faked.
  31. KEEP THINGS FUN: While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day and smile often!