America has faced a tough economic climate the past few years and the fallout is extensive. Think about the number of people who wake up in the morning and want to go to work but can’t find a job. It not only affects their ability to provide basic needs for their families, it lowers their self-worth. To me, the path to putting the country back on track is getting people to work. To be able, in a small way, to help with that is meaningful.
Very recently Integrity found out it has been named to the inaugural list of Inc.’s Hire Power Awards, which celebrate companies, large and small, that have greatly increased their workforces – and created jobs. As CEO of Integrity Management Consulting, I’m more proud of this award than I am of those that recognize our revenue growth only. This topic is so important to us that I want to share three principles we have at Integrity regarding job creation.
Growth Solves All Problems
We believe a simple philosophy that growth solves all problems. I say this knowing how difficult the current economy is and the obstacles the Federal government faces in funding its initiatives. Yet, the needs of the government are not going away, and those companies positioned best to fill those needs will continue to do well. By encouraging growth we create opportunity internally and have more avenues to overcome challenges. The up and coming analyst has an opportunity for a leadership position on the next project that we win. The person whose project is ending has opportunity to be rolled onto a new and more exciting engagement. Many of these opportunities cease when the growth is not present.
Build a Solid Foundation
Another belief we hold true—growth comes from the inside first. In 2006, we started with only two employees, my wife Mary Beth and me, and we scrambled to get business. Early on however, we broadened our view, and set as a goal to build a business, not just grow a business. Here’s the distinction—we wanted to create a firm foundation for not only increasing headcount but growing people’s careers and once we started bringing on good people, we held onto them and invested in them.
Build careers and you build opportunity. Hire great people, give them opportunity, give them challenges, and provide the support and mentoring for them to develop themselves. One result of this operating principle has been that our people not only generate revenue on a day to day basis, but they initiate new business opportunities by developing new markets and new service offerings.
Growth Requires a Commitment to Culture
Headcount doesn’t grow just because you hire more people; it grows because more people want to stay. That’s the firm foundation for growth at any company: a stable and rewarded work force. The culture that motivates this loyalty also draws in more professionals who respond to our passion for having an impact on people’s lives. Much of what has fueled our growth has been a consciously developed culture of caring not only about customers, but also about the success of our employees and about giving back to the communities that we live and work in through volunteering and philanthropy.
It’s particularly gratifying to give a professional who has had a distinguished career in the government or in the military the next step in his or her career, not a step down, but a full-fledged rewarding next phase of their professional life. Similarly, it’s a joy to bring on a person who was unemployed, under-employed or working in a place or job that wasn’t a good fit. Watching them re-energize their career and our business is powerful.
Creating jobs is a critical need right now. It is essential to putting the United States back on a solid economic foundation that will unleash our potential. I am thankful for the opportunity we have by living in this wonderful country to create jobs and careers – it is a proud moment for me as a business owner and as someone who cares deeply for our country.