What Matters Most: Working Towards a Greater Good

This article is included in the Summer 2006 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

Nearly 18 months ago, William Taylor, cofounder and founding editor of Fast Company magazine, interviewed DPR for a book called, Mavericks at Work: How the Most Original Minds in Business Win. The book goes on sale in early October, and DPR is included in two chapters along with 31 other companies, such as Anthropologie, Cranium, HBO, ING Direct, Netflix, Pixar, Whole Foods Market and Yahoo!. According to Taylor, “maverick companies aren’t always the largest in their field…but mavericks do the work that matters most—the work of originality, creativity and experimentation. They demonstrate that you can build a company around high ideals…that the most powerful way to create economic value is to embrace a set of values…”

We are flattered to be considered a “maverick” company with high ideals, but what really sets DPR apart comes down to our core values and the commitment every person has to those values, whether it is an employee, customer or another team member working together.

INTEGRITY. Being part of a team means we do not allow others to fail. It is one reason why one customer said, “I can sleep really well knowing DPR is on the project.” This same customer is one of roughly 900 customers surveyed over the last five years, who have ranked DPR 11 percent better than the best experience they have had working with general contractors in a variety of areas—from safety and teamwork to responsiveness and quality.

ENJOYMENT. A team that “plays” together sticks together. This year, 572 people will receive a special gift from DPR as part of our employee recognition rollout that acknowledges employees who have been with the company for more than 5, 10 and 15 years. The new program will continue each year, distinguishing those individuals for their longevity with DPR and dedication to building great things.

UNIQUENESS. When DPR was founded in 1990, we identified factors that are essential to the success of every project and named them Critical Success Factors (CSFs). One of those factors is zero defects, which, at the time, was a unique concept in the industry. In fact, it was almost unheard of to not have a punchlist at the end of a project. Today, several of our competitors also talk about zero defects, and more than 30 percent of the jobs we complete annually are without a punchlist at substantial completion. We’re done when we say we’re done.

EVER FORWARD. As a learning organization, good is never good enough. One tool that helps us improve our performance each year is DPR’s Employee Satisfaction Survey. Administered by a third party, DPR’s online survey evaluates 12 categories, from corporate culture and empowerment and decision-making to communication and employee development. The results are shared company-wide, and over the last two years, we have had a response rate of more than 80 percent and an overall favorability rate of 90 percent, with corporate culture, safety and quality control/client services receiving the highest scores across the company.

Living up to the high ideals and expectations that we have set for ourselves and our customers are what continues to drive improvement not only within DPR but also throughout the industry. And, at the end of the day, it is the contributions we make that matter most.