Core Values Series: To Be Better People and Continually Improve
To celebrate Nexus PMG’s seven-year anniversary, I am taking a deeper dive into our core values as a company and how they are influencing, changing, and improving Nexus PMG. Our shared core values, both professionally and personally, are:
This week, I’ll be taking a look at what it means to be better people and continually improve. I’ll also add that I embellished a little with the description of being better people and continually improving. For the sake of brevity, our core value is actually to build better people, but the imagery of a production line of elite beings was a little too much for me!
How do we build better people at Nexus PMG?
The process begins with talent identification and onboarding. Nexus PMG aims to hire individuals who:
- Can improve the company either now or in the future
- Have the desire to continually expand their own skillsets and who identify learning as a lifelong, never-ending activity.
- Individuals who can positively influence the company culture and form effective, well-balanced teams.
These individuals are generally recruited through two pathways.
The first pathway is focused on individuals from large, multinational corporations with thousands of employees. These individuals have made the decision to join a smaller company where they can focus on self-improvement as well as the job description. It’s become second nature for us to identify those who are part of a corporate culture that measures employee value by time spent with the company. We can also identify those who feel constrained by the corporate ladder.
We can recognize them because we were there once.
We strive to provide these individuals with a platform to define their own targets for personal and professional growth and an environment where work-life balance targets are as important as work targets, while also providing a goal-driven path for progression rather than a time-based requirement.
The second group avatar is new or recent graduates who are just starting their careers. With limited workplace experience, they need some guidance to define their own targets, but the overall process remains the same. With Nexus PMG’s focus on sustainable infrastructure, the graduates we attract often have an inherent passion for the sector which has a tremendous positive impact on the company’s culture.
We never stop learning.
We asked our employees, “what can we do as individuals to better ourselves?” The overwhelming answer was “learn, learn, learn.”
I firmly believe that all of our employees, with no exceptions, have the mentality that learning is a lifelong activity. At Nexus PMG, the efforts involved to continue learning do not go unnoticed. We have engineers, project managers, lawyers, and accountants that have all built, or are building, extremely successful careers based around continued learning.
To stay relevant in our field we have to learn and adapt. This process is often a requirement to maintain certain qualifications, which I believe builds a foundation for further learning that is also not professionally mandated. We see this every day at Nexus PMG. We come across so many new technologies in an industry in its relative infancy. The waste-to-value sector seems to have a new technology every week. The absence of decades of process and technology experience creates an absence of subject matter experts. This in turn creates opportunities for individuals who want to learn about aquaculture or molded fiber packaging or hemp decortication to fast-track their path to subject matter expert.
We embrace failure.
Failure is an expansive topic that I personally believe is absolutely necessary for personal growth and success. How we as individuals react to failure is as varied as it is inconsistent and unpredictable. But to really grow, failure is a requirement. We encourage our employees to go outside of their comfort zones knowing that the likelihood of failure is high. At an individual level, accepting failure and using it as a tool for improvement is key. When you practice gauging failure before it happens, you learn how to mitigate downside impacts.
At the company level, we implement support systems that not only mitigate failures as they happen but mitigate any downstream impacts as well. It’s a tough balancing act with potentially negative consequences. But, with the correct structure and coaching, it can be a powerful accelerant to personal growth and development.
Let’s get personal.
As a management team, we enjoy hearing about our employee’s families, interests, and hobbies, and we encourage everyone to bring themselves to work. We believe that creating an environment where work-life balance is as much a priority as work brings out the best in our people and helps us to be the best people we can be.
As a goal-driven company, we have flexible working hours suitable for those who have early school runs or prefer lunchtime workouts, or for those who need non-traditional hours to fit personal commitments into their schedules. This has proved its importance in the midst of the pandemic. The flexibility of our working environment enabled us to transition to working from home almost seamlessly.
We have learned that communication is one of the most impactful tools when it comes to being the best people we can be and continually improving. The company culture we are building is heavily influenced by our employees and the groups they form within the organization. Take sharing ideas, for example. We utilize our internal Idea Hub to discuss new initiatives and technologies and share personal projects, including community service and innovative visions. In turn, these ideas are helping our entire team expand their horizons into areas they had not previously considered while fostering growth.