My Promise to my Future Staff

May 6, 2015 By Tom

I’ve been doing a lot of writing recently on what I want the future of Nine13 to look like. You’re going to have a chance to see some press in the next few days that highlights our growth and anticipated scaling from 2 employees to 50 employees in Indiana and even more growth elsewhere. I’ve been reflecting on what I want our organization’s values to look like and setting the tone now for many years to come.

give your best and you’re family to me

Here are a list of promises that I am making now to my staff and we will incorporate into our ongoing management styles:

  • Equal Pay for Equal Positions- I don’t care if you’re male or female, black or white, have a PhD or a GED, we will pay equally for the same position in the same market and adjust cost of living for more expensive markets. Indianapolis will be our baseline for salaries and cost of living adjustments.
  • Holidays- the beautiful thing about being on a school schedule is that we have a built in break around major holidays. Our corporate office is shut down for the 2 weeks surrounding Christmas, 1 week for spring break and 1 week for fall break. These are weeks where I don’t expect you to be in and I encourage you to travel with your family and enjoy the time to build memories.
  • Internal Hiring- As we grow and place more positions in higher roles, I will first attempt to hire internally when possible. I want people who have worked on the ground and in the schools to be the ones that grow into manager and director positions.
  • We All Roll Up Our Sleeves- the quickest way to get terminated from a position will be to act like your position puts you above a specific task. I expect all of my staff to roll up their sleeves and get dirty, even if it’s not in the job description. We’re all in this together and it takes a team mentality to be a real team.
  • Practice Your Passion Time- I encourage every full time employee to take 12 hours a month to practice a passion outside of work. This will happen on your scheduled office day or on a day when we can sub your position with another staff member. I want you to volunteer for another organization, write, explore your creativity, get involved with city projects. All I ask is you keep me in the loop about your latest successes and stories.
  • Shared Staff Project Time- I will always be on the lookout for unique projects that our whole staff can volunteer for and we can do it as a team. I hope to have at least 1 of these days per quarter that will see us spend time with the other great causes of Indianapolis and other respective cities and collaborate through time and effort to support them.
  • No Ties Required- I will never ask you to wear a tie. I will never ask you to not be you. I will never expect you to be anything besides your awesome self.
  • No Doors Allowed- While we might need to have private conversations on occasion, our office is a community space and as such, my desk is right next to yours. There will be limited walls and separation and I will always make time for you.
  • I’ll Represent You- I will never speak on your behalf, but I’ll certainly live my professional and personal life based on these same merits.
    • I’ll never speak on a professional panel or sit on a committee that does not have gender and racial diversity
    • I’ll never quit fighting to making Indianapolis better, even when that means being vocal to fight for what is best for our city
    • You aren’t an employee, you’re a teammate, if you act like a teammate I’ll treat you like a teammate.

These are the promises I’m making now, and my expectation of my team is that if I’m not following these promises, I hope you’ll remind me of my words.

Now let’s build something awesome.