Getting better at getting better is what Rise With Drew is all about.

Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations. On Friday, I share something about myself or what we at PCI are doing on our quest to earning a spot on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

1: What’s the (not so) secret formula to building a great workplace culture?  

Last month we learned that PCI had achieved our long-term vision of earning a spot on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Workplaces in the U.S. We are the #55 Best Medium Workplace in the U.S.  

So, what are the ingredients required to be a great place to work

Last week, we looked at the first ingredient: Purpose. Today, we will explore the second ingredient: Shared values.

Articulating our core values twenty-five years ago is the single best decision we’ve made during my time at PCI. We were deliberate about capturing and articulating the principles my father and grandfather used to build our company.  

One hundred and one years later, these values are our foundation, our North Star.  

When we find ourselves in the ditch, our values provide a path back onto the road so we can head forward.  

Our values provide us with a common vocabulary to discuss and make decisions. Today, our 450 associates talk with over 10,000 clients a day. We are constantly making choices about how to handle different situations. Because we are clear on our values and aim to make decisions based on those values, we can make decisions consistently across the organization.

Having shared values also allows us to go much faster. By articulating our values, we’ve already decided how we will respond, whatever the situation. We already know we will act with integrity. We already know we will lean toward excellence. We already know we treat people with love, care, and respect.

Our selection or hiring process screens on values first. Before we ever consider how much experience a candidate has or if they have the necessary skills to do the job, we first assess whether this individual shares our values. We don’t hire someone and then teach them our values. Instead, we are intentional about seeking candidates who share our values.  

But the most significant benefit to having a solid set of core values is they provide clarity during uncertain times.   

It can be a scary world out there. The pace of change is unrelenting. Then, there are the unexpected shocks to the system. Seismic shocks. In the past 25 years, we’ve experienced the year 2000 “hanging chads” election, the horror of September 11th, the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, the 2008 global financial crisis, and a worldwide pandemic.

And, I think we need to get used to these types of disruptions.  

While we don’t know what the next major shock to the system will be, we can bet there will be one. And then another. And so on.  

Here’s the beautiful thing: as long as we are (1) clear on and (2) live by our shared values, we can remain calm and resolute.  

At PCI, our values align with universal principles like integrity, courage, excellence, progress, service, and love. These principles endure. The world around us will likely jerk back and forth. But as long as our beliefs and actions are aligned with these greater universal truths, we increase our ability to survive and thrive.

More next week.


Reflection: When in the past have I taken a stand for my values?

Action: Take some time this week to articulate or review and revise my personal values.

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