Everyone has values. We don’t talk about what we value much, in a philosophical sense, but today we’re going to dive deep.
First what are values? The Cambridge Dictionary defines them as, “the principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/values)
I believe that having values in common can transform a loose group of people working together into a highly integrated powerful team. Purpose driven seems to be the new hotness in business. But the truth is that purpose has always driven business. So what do WE value? What informs our purpose?
- Faith and Family
In this post I’ll share a bit of my beliefs on the value I call Faith.
First, I’ve deliberately put Faith and Family at the top of the list. My faith informs my life. While this wording sounds odd to many, I’ve deliberately chosen it. My faith drives all the other values on the list. I believe I have a solemn duty to my God, my country, my family, my employees, and the communities we work in. When I must decide what is “right and wrong” I can turn to my faith for guidance.
While not everyone agrees with (or lives up to) the principles taught by the Catholic Church, a thorough study of Her teachings shows a deep love for God and our fellow human beings. This love when perfectly lived, even extends into the workplace. The “conditions of the working class” have been a subject of thought and guidance by the popes since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The current social unrest, upheavals, and rioting are in part the result of a failure to love our fellow human beings as God loves them. I believe each person is created in the image and likeness of God, so I should treat them with respect and true charity. I believe that God created the world for the benefit of those created in his image and likeness, I believe I should work towards a more balanced distribution of wealth and material goods. This fits perfectly with our business model as a union contractor.
Being a union contractor helps PPE pay true living wages. The thrifty among our employees are able to save and buy a house, pay for their kids college tuition, invest substantially in their retirement funds, and get the health care they need. The gap between CEO salary and employee pay remains narrower than in large corporations. These things all contribute to employees who are engaged at a higher level.
In all these ways and many more my faith directs the choices I make in our company. Not all the choices are perfect, or the best because I am not perfect. Yet I work each day to live my faith and I strive to come closer to a perfect love of God and my neighbor each day. This brings me to Family, the closest neighbors of all.
I believe we have a responsibility to protect and care for our families. We strive to create a work space where family needs can be met, family vacations taken, and family time can be celebrated. We understand our industry can be hard on family life and we try to ease this burden through scheduling and time off, as much as possible. We try to get to know the families of our workers at Summerfest and we celebrate spouses and significant others at our Christmas Leadership Party. Success, to me, means leaving the people around us better off than when they started working for us.
Come back soon and we’ll tackle more of the values that make us AWESOME!!!
Have a great day. Be Safe and Stay Strong!