Although I dislike corny slogans and management propaganda, one of our fast-growing clients asked me recently if we had some sort of “employee credo” they could provide to new employees. This firm’s owners were concerned that new people were taking too long to learn their corporate culture. They wanted to speed up the indoctrination process. They needed something that would clearly and succinctly tell their staff— professional, technical and non-technical— how to act, i.e., what the expectation is for behavior in their firm. Realizing their firm really wasn’t much different from any well-run A/E, consulting engineering or environmental consulting firm, we decided to share the end product with our readers:“XYZ Associates Employee Credo” I understand the entire reason our firm exists is to fulfill needs in client organizations. We are here because of our clients, not vice versa. I will constantly be on the lookout for ways to make our firm more valuable to clients. I understand our firm is in the business of providing professional services. I will constantly analyze my activities to make sure they contribute to the process of selling, doing, or getting paid for this service. If I am not enhancing this process, I will either stop what I am doing or bring it to management’s attention.I understand I work in a for-profit enterprise and profits are essential to our survival. I accept responsibility for seeing to it that my employment contributes to profitability.I understand I am working to build an organization that will outlast any of us as individuals. I will constantly think about everything I do and whether or not I am contributing to more than just the short-term prosperity of the firm. I will seek to provide some sort of residual benefit that will accrue to the company from each of my actions today.I understand in an organization that sells time for a living, the product being sold is me. I recognize that my value to the firm is based on how many productive hours I can generate, how quickly or efficiently I can complete my assignment, or how I can help someone else complete their job. I will do all I can to ensure output is of the highest quality and is what it is represented to be. But I recognize that in spite of our best intentions as individuals and as an organization, mistakes will occur. As soon as a mistake is identified, I will immediately acknowledge it and take corrective action. I understand in any organization there may be times when certain jobs need doing that are unpleasant, tedious, or do not come naturally, yet are necessary. I will do these jobs if requested to do so or if I see that they need doing, without hesitation or complaint. I understand a company is like a family. The needs of the family take precedence over the needs of any one family member, and all family members must contribute to the well-being of the family in a “one for all, all for one” spirit.I understand that what I say and do affects the morale and productivity of others in the firm. I will refrain from sarcastic comments that demean the firm, fellow employees, clients, or the output of the firm in any way, and I expect to be treated in like manner. I will be honest, and not lie, cheat or steal from the firm or its clients. In return, I expect to be treated truthfully and honestly by management. I understand that while I have a responsibility to management, management has an equal responsibility to me. If at any time I unknowingly stray from the principles that built the organization, it is management’s duty to bring this to my attention. My commitment to the firm will be returned in equal measure by management’s commitment to me. I will be recognized for my past, present and future contributions to the firm.Last, I understand that my employment at this firm means that I accept all the tenets of this credo and that they will also be recognized and accepted by all other members of the firm. Management will not tolerate a double standard and will enforce adherence to the credo.While you may or may not agree with all of the points in this credo, maybe you should spend some time developing your own. Whatever you come up with, don’t forget that the best professionals are intelligent people who will not tolerate being manipulated by management.Originally published 1/12/1994
About Zweig Group
Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
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