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The Just Because Factor

Posted by Ryan Howard on Tue, Jun 11, 2013  |  Share       

Airplane   Just Because FactorOn a recent United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia, I was moved by a statement our captain made over the PA system. The afternoon began with an expected flight delay due to severe weather in Middle America. Subsequently, we were given a 7 hour flight path taking us from California down to Texas, over to Florida and up the east coast to Pennsylvania. The flight attendants "please take your seats" announcement was followed by the captain telling us to keep our seat belts fastened until we reached a safe altitude. Pretty standard stuff. What he said once we reached that altitude is what got my attention.

"Ladies and gentleman the seat belt sign has been turned off, feel free to get up and move about the cabin. However when you are seated, please keep those seat belts buckled....[pause]....well, just because". 

"Just because". Seriously? Does that mean just because the rules say he’s supposed to tell us that, but doesn’t really buy into it? Or perhaps just because we may get rowdy and decide to pull off an impromptu Harlem Shake at 32,000 ft.? Maybe just because he knows the weather has been crazy and doesn't want to promote fear? With no inflection in his voice, it was difficult to tell. But in that moment, I realized there are certain times in life (and business) where we should learn to accept the "just because" factor. 

The Just Because Factor

For me, I'd rather be told to buckle up "just because" and trust the trained professional, rather than be threatened with the “what could happen to me if I don't” story. I guess it's kind of like pilot speak for having bedside manner. It got my attention, but spared the unnecessary details.

In business, this same principle can apply. My company is in the background screening and risk management business. Our staff could tell customers they should utilize criminal background checks and pre-employment verifications because “imagine what could happen if they hired a convicted sex offender and that employee decided to walk into their office and proceed to...”  See where I am going with this? I believe some things are better left implied (not said). In this scenario, I’d rather our team say something like, “We recommend accessing VeriFirst as a tool to pre-screen employees, just because it’s better to be precautious.” You can always offer up more details for those who want it. For example: If you'd like more information on the details included in a background screening report, you can click here to see what VeriFirst provides. Or visit our compliance and news feed for negligent hiring case studies.  

On my United flight, some of the “just because" details could be found by tuning into the plane’s in-seat entertainment and following our flights communication with air traffic control. It was impressive how often our captain and co-pilot requested new altitudes - for better air, a smoother ride, and happier passengers. Kudos’s to the proactive (and reactive) pilots and air traffic controllers. For those who can appreciate a white knuckled grip at the slightest sign of turbulence; the comfort of your pilot talking to air traffic control is therapeutic. Why? "Just because". 

Applying the “Just Because Factor” to business can get a little tricky; as I do believe it’s important to have tenacity. However the key is understanding where to focus your inquisitive energy; and knowing when to sit back and trust the expert’s advice.

 

About VeriFirst:
From student housing and multifamily tenant screening, to employment background checks, vendor screening, and customer identification verification, VeriFirst delivers tailored consolidated solutions that help you minimize your risk and make better, more informed decisions. Click here to view our available services.

 

Topics: Human Resources, managing change, employee relationship management

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