Proud Recipient of a 2016 ETHIE Award
In 2016, Lewis Tree Service received an ETHIE award from the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation. Sounds like a nice feather in our cap (and we truly are appreciative!) but it goes much further than that.
Living our Ethics Program
Like many companies, Lewis Tree Service has a formal set of values and operating principles.
These values are well documented and communicated among employees. They are detailed in our strategic plan, reviewed at every monthly business update with the entire team, outlined on our website, and, importantly, recorded in our employee handbook that all new hires review during the onboarding process. When interviewing, we probe candidates on their values and ethics to ensure they’re a strong cultural fit. And when we promote, we weigh adherence to our culture and values as much as we consider performance. As one Operational VP stated, “We promote genuine people who care about others—and this comes from the top.”
Measuring our Ethics Program
You’ve heard the expression: what gets measured gets done. At Lewis Tree Service, we have a strategic scorecard. We have a goal for zero (0) ethics violations where we measure business ethics not individual ethics. If we discover an individual ethical issue, this encourages us, as a business, to have the right discussions at the most senior level and always do the right thing.
Holding Ourselves Accountable
Lewis Tree Service has a standing agenda item at every Board meeting to discuss ethics and we send a quarterly ethics report (i.e., a status update on any pending legal action including EEOC cases) to the Chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee of our Board of Directors. As an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) company, we hold one another accountable at every level to do the right thing.
Growing with Other Ethical Companies
Over the years, Lewis Tree Service has grown both organically and by acquisition. When evaluating a merger or acquisition opportunity, we spend a significant amount of time assessing the target company’s values. This requires truly getting to know the company owners and key leaders to ensure there’s a strong cultural fit by extending interactions beyond the required professional meetings to include dinners and social events.