This is a weekly publication to highlight the character of the month by using stories from home and at work. Once a month, the “I Wills”, a list of practical ways to display the quality, are given. It is usually short and amusing, yet pointed…in order to make a positive impact on the reader.
In today’s business world, making mistakes brings instant recognition and not in a good way. In wanting to encourage and recognize good character formally, CARE Cards were created. CARE stands for Character Awareness Reflecting Excellence. CARE Cards are actual cards that are used by employees to recognize a particular character trait that has been observed being demonstrated by another employee. The rules for recognizing someone are clearly outlined on the back of the card along with the 49 character traits that can be displayed. The cards are filled out and turned in to the receptionist and then logged and put into a pool of recipients for that month. At the company meeting, a single card is drawn from the pool and read. That person who has been recognized gets a “gift” as a further thank you from the group. Sometimes the gift is a CARE Card Shirt, and at other times it could be a gift or gas card.
Character Recognition at the Company Meeting
This is a pivotal part of the Character By Design at EDG. Supervisors are responsible to observe and recognize their team members for a particular trait that the employee displayed during the previous year. In the first year, the entire certificate is read…not only the character trait being recognized. The front of the certificate is quite ornate, complete with an officially stamped seal, and original signature by the author of the recognition. The author stands in front of the whole assembly at the company meeting and reads the certificate (on first anniversary of employee) and then asks the employee to please stand and be recognized. This is followed by spontaneous applause…
After the meeting, the certificate is put in a frame and displayed with all of the other recipients on the Wall of Character in our Character Mural for one month. It is then removed and presented to the recipient.
Character Posters in Office Spaces
Posters outlining the Character Quality of the Month are placed throughout the office spaces in attractive frames as to remind us as we walk down hallways. They capture the “how to” about this trait and have an eye catching relative photograph to draw us in.
This is a brief explanation of why the Character By Design was introduced to EDG, its goals and how it affects our lives at EDG and how it has changed through the years.
The character council distributed Character FirstTM calendars to Inspectors who are not located in the EDG office. These calendars display the character of the month and a brief definition of that character quality. The calendars help to expose the Inspectors to Character By Design and its ideas.
Character Recognition Mural
When an employee celebrates their anniversary they are presented with a certificate which is then framed and put on the Character Mural wall for one month. This allows fellow employees, clients and visitors at EDG to view the certificates and the character quality the recipient has been recognized for. At the end of the month, the certificate is removed from the frame and given to the employee.
Character Training Off-Site
Character FirstTM Seminars are given in Oklahoma City by the instructors from Character FirstTM that teach the ideals, goals, and vision of their Character Program. The seminar takes 2 days to complete and allows time for group discussions as well as group projects.
Character Training In-House
Seminars in or near an EDG office which are given by EDG's Character by Design Character Council to teach the ideals, goals, and vision of Character By Design program. These seminars are usually abbreviated as compared to the Training in Oklahoma City.
Character Councils and Champions
This leadership group performs the day to day mechanics of the program, and helps to ensure that Character By Design is operating, effective, and reaching employees where they live. Individual Champions represent smaller offices while Character Councils are used in the larger offices within EDG.
Character Steering Team
The Character Steering Team, currently composed of managing principals, was founded with the goal to provide guidance for the Character Councils and Champions in promoting a character based culture within EDG.
At EDG we have instilled the programs throughout the company to insure a high level of character and ethics are maintained consistently.