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Years ago, I worked in Bermuda for the Bank of Bermuda’s IT department. I’ll never forget a lesson I learned as a result of an internal campaign the Bank adopted for all its departments.

The campaign was called “Do it Right the First Time / Zero Defects”. This brand was prominent everywhere at the Bank. They even had a custom “Zero Defects” logo, keeping the philosophy conspicuous and alive.

As the name implies, it was all about encouraging every bank employee to become extremely conscious about accomplishing every task correctly so they never needed to be revisited or done a second or subsequent times. Completed once, correctly and without flaws with Zero Defects. The campaign taught employees in every department the cost of not doing things right the first time; “hidden” costs, like time, resources, etc. It taught us the benefits and efficacy of aiming for impeccability at the onset.

We would self-monitor by charting our tasks on paper and indicating whether the tasks had been “done right the first time”. We’d aim for Zero Defects. This practice allowed us to better serve our internal and external customers.

At the time I didn’t fully understand the deep significance of the campaign. Having gained business maturity and acumen since my Bermuda days decades ago, I now see how extremely valuable this concept is. It has become a critical part of my approach to work.

Thanks Bank of Bermuda!

At work and off-work… Do it Right the First Time. It’s a personal philosophy worth considering. And if you’re an employer, it’s wisdom worth encouraging and fostering in your workplace among your staff.