Clearly defined, well-developed cultures promote organizational greatness and build success, employee happiness, and customer satisfaction. We want every employee to look forward to work each day, to feel like part of a family, and to be involved in our companies’ “big picture.” That means we need to build a culture that is inviting, positive, and rewarding for everyone—a process that begins with you!
Although each of the DuBose Family of Companies is different, the cultures we desire for all of our companies are very much alike. They are strategy-minded cultures that we can be proud of and that reflect our ideals. This document, which was developed by employees from all companies, explains who we are, how we operate, what we expect, and the behaviors we desire in both new and current team members and leaders. Planning for the future is important, and we value working together to determine where we are going and how we will get there.
Our purpose is to create opportunities to improve lives. That refers first and foremost to the lives of you and our other team members. We want to help you grow and improve personally and professionally.
Our secondary focus is on our customers. Clients should see us as colleagues who consistently deliver what we say we will and never disappoint them. In order to keep their business and our jobs, we must go the extra mile to keep them very happy.
Our third emphasis is on our community. We want to help local charities and schools as an extension of our vision of making the world a better place. Therefore, we donate some of our funds to nonprofits, support staff volunteer efforts, participate in worthy causes like recycling, and give of our time and resources when we can. A community service committee made up of employee volunteers plans our events.
The mission at for each DuBose company varies, but the ways we achieve them remain the same across the entire family of companies. We will realize our mission and purpose by:
We are building a great family of companies and need to hire and retain only good and outstanding people in order to meet that goal. We do not want to add anyone to our family who does not conform to our values, goals, and priorities, regardless of their education, titles, skills, or experience. We must all work together as one for our companies to succeed!
We value the following assets (listed in no particular order) in our team members:
Good ethics: We want people who have good values and ethics, are honest, and will do the right thing even when no one is looking. Let leadership know if you feel like anyone in the company is doing anything that could be construed as unethical, dishonest, or illegal. If you don’t feel good about doing something, please let us know.
Humility: We value humility and discourage attention-getting, arrogant, dominating, rude, know-it-all, or egotistical behavior. We want people who are modest and do not like to be the center of attention. Please leave your ego at the door when you come to work, but boost the self-confidence of others when you can!
Niceness: It is important that everyone in the companies treats each other in a nice, respectful, and friendly manner. We like to see smiling faces, courteous behavior, and treating your peers as you would like to be treated (following the Golden Rule). If you feel angry, take a break, go for a walk, sleep on it, or take some leave. Think carefully about what is causing your anger and then address the causes head-on. When others are angry or upset, go the extra mile to help them feel better.
Profit-mindedness: Making a profit is not our mission, but we need to make a substantial profit on every project so we can keep our jobs, pay our bills, share in profits, and fund our pursuit of future greatness. “Is it worth the effort?” should be asked of every project.
Openness and candor: We want you to be able to express your opinions, ideas, concerns, and thoughts honestly and without any fear (done, of course, in a respectful and friendly way.) We encourage open-minded debate to explore all options, even if it counters our opinions. We desire for team members to ask “what if” statements and question possible outcomes (listing both pros and cons) in order to find the best answers.
Efficiency: We value and appreciate staff members who try to save money, no matter how small the amount. Always try to find or negotiate a lower price, but don’t jeopardize quality. We are open to any ideas that will improve our efficiency, get things done faster, and improve the quality of the goods and services we produce.
Reliability: Trustworthy people are highly sought after by our companies. We want our staff to be honorable individuals, so please think carefully about the things you promise.
Professionalism: Employees are to treat clients and each other with respect. We do so by: dressing properly; conducting meetings in a civil manner; addressing problems and issues quickly and politely; respecting each others’ opinions (even if they differ from our own); being punctual and prepared for work and meetings; and by not starting rumors, backstabbing, or ostracizing others.
When you are visiting customers, we expect you to look and act professionally. Our policy manual outlines the type of clothing you should wear at customer sites. When you are not working directly with clients, you can dress in more casual clothes, provided that they are reasonable and clean.
We expect you to be on time and give the company at least 37 to 40 hours of great work each week. We appreciate your dedication if occasionally you must work longer hours, but please do not go overboard! We want to you be happy and healthy, which means spending time with friends and family and getting enough sleep.
To give you a better idea of how we operate here, the following are actions we take within our companies and would like to see employees practice:
Exhibiting a positive attitude: Positive, can-do staff members are essential to a good work environment. Recognize, confront, and offer solutions for problems instead of whining and complaining. Avoid gossip and negativity about peers, leaders, and customers. If you don’t like something within the company, discuss it with your team leader.
Expanding knowledge: Everyone in our organization should want to expand their personal and professional knowledge base.
Cherishing mistakes: Each team member is expected to deliver exceptional results. However, as humans, we all make mistakes. We adhere to Total Quality Management (TQM), which means that we identify and dissect problems and their causes, determine how to solve them, and keep them from happening again.
Working with limited supervision: We value staff members who can determine what is needed, clarify their goals, and execute with limited supervision. We do not like to micromanage. Check in with your team leader as projects develop, but you are free to use the talents you have.
Being open to constructive criticism: Wise, mature individuals are open to feedback. However, please express opinions and advice in a respectful, friendly manner. This will allow people to seek others’ advice without fear of being belittled or made to feel inferior. When a team leader talks to you about a problem or concern, look at the discussion as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Confronting people and problems in a nice way: When someone says or does something to hurt your feelings or cause a problem, go to him or her at a good time and share your concerns in a friendly way. If anyone comes to you and shares a problem about another team member, please ask them, “Have you shared with the other person?” If the direct approach fails, then staff members should go to their team leaders with the issue. We want you and others to resolve conflicts as soon as possible, before they grow into major problems.
Communicating effectively: Good communication is crucial to every great organization, and multiple people working together always create better solutions than one person. We want you to communicate with your peers, leaders, and customers simply and clearly. Try to have face-to-face time with everyone, but e-mails can document discussions about problems or sensitive issues. In conversations, strive to listen at least as much as you talk. Please do not criticize or discipline others through e-mail. Delay reacting to concerns for a day and sleep on them, confronting the problem (and person) nicely if it continues to bother you.
Respecting others’ opinions and beliefs: We all have different values and behaviors, political views, and religious beliefs. We must all respect our differences and avoid entering into discussions on sensitive, private issues. Try to see the value in all sides of a debate and be open to new and innovative ideas. Be yourself, but just remember that all people are different!
Facing the brutal facts: To help you understand our companies’ goals and how we operate, please read Good to Great by Jim Collins. One of Collins’ points is that when you are building a great company, you sometimes have to look into the mirror and face the hard, brutal facts. With this in mind, please seek feedback and advice from unbiased people within and outside the company.
Practicing good decision-making: It is important to weigh options in a timely manner and then promptly proceed forward. While they are very receptive to all ideas and views on an issue, company decisions are ultimately made by our president and team leaders. When debating, set a target date for making the decision, and once it has been made, everyone should rally behind it to make it succeed.
Being team-focused: It is vital that everyone work as a close-knit team with common goals and desires. Although we want you to have fun with your peers, avoid unnecessarily disrupting others while they are at work.
Being customer-driven: The customer signs all of our checks. We must consistently strive to exceed customers’ expectations by actively learning their needs, doing everything we say we are going to do (and more), and never disappointing them. When a customer is very difficult or unreasonable, work through the situation with the help of your team leader. That may mean that your team leader has to intervene, particularly when dealing with sensitive issues. This does not mean that you have failed, but that an independent, impartial party can see both sides of the issue and attempt to resolve it.
Please do not promise anything unless you are fairly certain that you can deliver it. Always “underpromise and overdeliver.” Pledging to do more than they possibly can do is a major fault of many companies that fail to achieve greatness.
Seeking “win-win” scenarios: Whether you are working with peers, customers, individuals, groups, or your team leader, always seek “win-win” answers or solutions. Of course, it is sometimes impossible to satisfy everyone, but it is a great target to aim for.
Maintaining high quality standards: Great companies generate great products and services. We need to do the very best we can do in the least amount of time by utilizing our skills and others’ help. We encourage and often reward team members who generate ideas, money-saving tactics, profits, and new clients. Customers judge us by our work, so it must be error-free. We encourage peers to review our work but do not want to create a hierarchy that impedes project completion.
Completing projects on a timely basis: Great companies with execution environments get things done punctually and in an excellent way. Note steps to project completion, assign target dates, dispense responsibilities, and hold both process and people accountable. Think carefully about target dates when assigning them to ensure that they are realistic and doable, and always give yourself a little extra flexibility and time for unexpected issues.
Leaving personal problems at home: Everyone experiences personal problems, and it is often helpful to talk about them with friends. We want to know when you are hurting, happy, and sad. However, please don’t let personal problems become your (or others’) main focus during work hours. We admire staff members who seek expert advice and guidance and can recommend coaches who can assist you.
In return for employees’ adherence to these principles, company leadership strives to:
Be fair: We want to treat you fairly and consistently. If you ever feel like you are being treated unfairly, your treatment is inconsistent with that given to other employees, or you are being discriminated against or harassed, please let your team leader know.
Make clear what we expect of you: We convey our expectations through clear, mutually-agreed-upon job descriptions and encourage you to candidly discuss expectations with your team leader. When you feel friction or frustration, please discuss it with your team leader in a frank, friendly manner (team leaders are encouraged to do the same). If you haven’t been getting regular, informal feedback about your performance, please make an appointment to talk with your supervisor at a good time. Our goal is for your annual performance assessment to contain no surprises because you have received ongoing feedback and coaching throughout the year.
Have reasonable structure–without bureaucracy: All successful companies have rules, policies, and regulations that employees must follow. We maintain guidelines so that our staff knows how to secure approval to proceed in certain situations. At the same time, we want you to challenge and eliminate any rules that impede progress, add to bureaucracy, and slow projects or decisions. If you see any way that we can improve our systems, please let us know.
Reduce stress: Stress is a normal part of our everyday personal and professional lives. A reasonable amount challenges us to set priorities, establish target dates, and produce high-quality, timely work. However, prolonged high levels of stress can impair your health, creativity, relationships, productivity, peace, and overall happiness, and even reduce your lifespan. Your mental health is important to us, so one of our goals is to reduce stress wherever we can. For every project we may take on or commitment we are considering, we want you and your team leader to ask seriously, “Is this activity worth the effort, profit, and stress it will bring?”
You will work hard and push the limits at times. We try to reinvest most of our profits to provide you with the resources to do your job effectively and efficiently with the least amount of stress. However, our work can be unpredictable. If you find yourself stressed beyond your limits, please share your frustration with your team leader. We cannot promise immediate relief, but we will find ways to help.
Allow you to have a good personal life: Good mental health also comes from taking some time off throughout the year. We do not believe that you should work yourself to death for the sake of the company. Making a profit is important since we must pay our bills, but it is not our purpose or mission. There will be times where you will have to work longer hours than normal to get the job done, but we want you to limit these instances if possible so you can focus on your personal life. Balance is key!
Have fun with each other and celebrate often: Not all work is exciting, but everyone should strive to have fun in their work setting. Our employee liaison committee (ELC) facilitates celebrations and other events, and they appreciate any ideas that employees contribute. Other ways to make work fun include eating lunch with coworkers, meeting after work for socials, sharing positive things from our personal lives, celebrating birthdays, and simply looking for opportunities to laugh.
Please don’t wait for leadership to create these fun opportunities for you. Take charge! When you do something good or we experience success, please take time to celebrate. Just let leadership know that you would like to go out as a group and we will try to find the money to support the activity. Our work is important, but we value our friendships and relationships, too.
Encourage you to think outside the box and dream: Most of your time and effort should focus on the work outlined in your job description. However, if you come up with any idea, strategy, or suggestion that can improve the way we do things, please share them with your peers and team leader. We welcome innovation!
Help you build your own future: In the past, some team members felt as though opportunities for advancement within the company were limited. We are open to you taking on new responsibilities and challenges if you and your team leader come up with a plan. Keep in mind that there are no promises and many variables, like company financial strength, need to be considered. Above all, please let your team leader know if you are unhappy and are seeking another job outside our companies.
Treat you like an owner and leader of the company: We want you to feel and act as if you are a company owner or leader, which means taking pride in what we do as individuals and as a corporation. We also want you to feel like you are helping to drive your future and where the company is going. To this end, we try to share most of the details of the companies (like budgets and plans) with you.
Thank you for considering being a part of our team! Please let us know if you have any suggestions or additions to this document.
© Copyright 2018 by Mike DuBose—All Rights Reserved. You have permission and we encourage you to forward the full article to friends or colleagues and/or distribute it as part of personal or professional use, providing that the authors are credited. However, no part of this article may be altered or published in any other manner without the written consent of the authors. If you would like written approval to post this information on an appropriate website or to publish this information, please contact Katie Beck at Katie@dubosegroup.com and briefly explain how the article will be used; we will respond promptly. Thank you for honoring our hard work!