Four Core Objectives: The SEI Way

At Service Express, we don’t shy away from talking about company culture. We’re committed to working hard, achieving results and having fun at the same time. And that means we not only take pride in meeting our customer needs and providing great service, but we also focus on creating a positive work environment for our employees.

A key philosophy that’s helped drive results, like our 98 percent customer retention rate and low 10 percent employee turnover, is our shared commitment to making decisions based on what we call our Four Core Objectives.

SEI’s Four Core Objectives are:

Before we make any decision, we bounce it off each of our Four Core Objectives. If we can explain how the decision will positively affect each of the four objectives, we feel confident that we’re making a good choice.

Let me give an example. We were considering adding a downtown Chicago office because customers and prospects were asking for it. The decision-making process looked like this:

  • First, we considered that it often took 1.5 hours to get to customers in the Loop from our current office. But, if we were to open a location downtown, we could provide much faster service, which would improve customer service.
  • Employees wouldn’t spend as much time on the road, so that would increase employee engagement.
  • Services in the Loop also meant we could sell more high-end system deals that could offer higher margin.
  • And, of course, more agreements with higher margin equals revenue growth.

The result was a no-brainer. We decided to open the downtown location.

In addition to our managers using the Four Core Objectives for making company decisions, we also teach all of our employees to use them. We view this as a shared approach to decision making, and we believe that it empowers each person to make decisions in his/her own area that lead to great results. We’ve found that when our decisions support each of the Four Core Objectives, we create a company culture where everyone is empowered.

I have to tell you, this is the kind of stuff that gets me excited! Many of us have worked for companies with departments that have conflicting goals and layers of bureaucracy , right? So at SEI, we’ve found that using these objectives has also helped to keep our goals consistently aligned and it eliminates a stagnant bureaucratic culture. Basing our everyday decisions on our company Vision and on our Four Core Objectives sets the stage for all of us to work together as a cohesive team.

At SEI, our leadership team doesn’t promise that everyone will agree with all decisions. But we can promise that we’ll be able to explain why we made the decision based on the Four Core Objectives. And that’s what makes SEI a dynamic and empowering work environment!