Bowens - The Builders Choice

When I hear the word ‘reputation’ I think of good. The noun, reputation, means ‘The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.’ Another interpretation, ‘a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular characteristic’.

Bowens continually sprouts the fact about deliveries ‘On Time In Full’, and all our operations being great places to work at!

“Bowens continually sprouts the fact about deliveries ‘On Time In Full’, and all our operations being great places to work at!”

We do have high standards, high expectations – but do we deliver to the standards we set?

To quote Benjamin Franklin … “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” On that point, I was once told about a timber supply company that had spent much time, energy and money on building its reputation for outstanding quality and service – then made a delivery to the wrong site and dumped the timber right across the driveway. Probably one bad delivery, but the last to that customer.

A company’s reputation is founded on the public perception of the company, and how it operates. This includes public opinion on the company’s products, services and how the company treats its employees. A reputation can be viewed as positive or negative, and it can change over time. John Bowen and I truly believe in creating and maintaining a GREAT workplace environment, where both employees and customers feel ‘loved’ and welcome. Very easy to say, not that easy to do month after month, year after year.

“A company’s reputation is founded on the public perception of the company, and how it operates.”

At our staff induction days JB always asks the question, “tell me a retailer, or any service provider, that meets your expectations every time.” It’s agreed we all have one at least, where we appreciate the smiles, the remembering of our name, the quality of the product – consistency in all these areas. The personal experience of receiving exceptional service goes a long way towards improving our own service in our own workplace.

It’s popular these days to refer to ‘pub talk’ or ‘barbecue conversations’. At the pub or around the barbecue people will generally speak from the heart. Opinions are listened to, debated and minds opened, and even made up from these experiences.

As much as I relate to pub and barbecue talk, I fully understand that with roughly 2.5 billon users on the internet, the damage caused by word-of-mouth is a whole new area. Users can spread negative comments in just a few seconds with minimal effort. I believe that with media sites such as Twitter, it can take just 140 characters to post a complaint for 140 million active users to see, and for your brand’s image to suffer. I like to think that ‘pub talk’ still has its place and needs to be respected. It’s close, personal and local.

There is of course Google & Local (which I hadn’t realised has been around for 10 years) – I stand to be corrected but I assume it means a more user-friendly site providing easier integration into search and maps etc. I’m out of my depth here but I can see that while our Bowens website has been carefully put together to create certain profiles and business listings, we cannot control every mention of our company on the Web.

Along the theme of the Benjamin Franklin quote, Warren Buffet’s version is, “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”. Maybe I can say 128 years of building our reputation could be ruined in – 30 minutes! Robert Half (Business Solutions) wrote about Keeping your Corporate Reputation Intact – ‘as a professional, you represent your company in more ways than one – not only in the work that you produce, but also in your conduct and work ethic (both online and offline). It is important to maintain a positive brand impression for sustainable business growth. Protect your corporate reputation by being vigilant about (any) instant reputation busters’.

As far as personal reputations are concerned the greatest challenge we all face is in misusing social media, creating a blurred line between our digital and real lines. Twitter PR blunders and fraudsters have left many friendships and lives destroyed.

I somehow signed up for Facebook but never use it and I am not on Twitter – some ignorance on my part regarding social media but, it really doesn’t bother me. I get into enough trouble putting forward my views on our Bowen family WhatsApp!!

The Builders Bulletin is not the place for me to be commenting on what people do, nor how to conduct their lives (again, I have been criticised for doing just that over the years!), but I do want to enhance and defend Bowen & Pomeroy’s reputation, and that includes the reputation of all Bowens’ people. I hate hearing about any of our people struggling in the workplace and/or in their daily lives. John Bowen’s and my wish to make the Bowens workplace both safe and enjoyable is real, and by example, I hope we can further good reputations and guide our people away from the influence of hurtful and damaging social media.

“The Builders Bulletin is not the place for me to be commenting on what people do, nor how to conduct their lives … but I do want to enhance and defend Bowen & Pomeroy’s reputation, and that includes the reputation of all Bowens’ people.”

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