At an all-hands, company-wide meeting, Ashton Manor Environmental introduced a new program to help our Team embrace our unique culture. “The AME Way” outlines 30 “Fundamentals” that serve as our guiding principles and practices and detail how we strive to run our business – the way we treat our customers, the way we work with each other, and how we relate to our customers and vendors. As a team, we discussed the details of each “Fundamental” and how it represents who we are, as well as how it will become a part of our daily interactions with each person we encounter. We are passionate about our culture here, and we’re very excited to implement “The AME Way” into our company’s activities moving forward.

The Fundamentals of “The AME Way”:

1. THINK SAFE. WORK SAFE. Know and practice the safety procedures for your job. Watch out for the safety of your teammates as well, for we’re all part of the Ashton Manor family. Help others learn by reviewing all near misses during weekly safety meetings.

2. DO THE RIGHT THING, ALWAYS. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. If you make a mistake, don’t deny it, and don’t dismiss it.

3. WORK SMART. Be organized and plan your work for maximum efficiency. Have all the tools necessary before starting your work. Think about your schedule, and have a game plan for your assignments, your calls, and your workday. Know the priorities and work on them first.

4. DELIVER RESULTS. While we appreciate effort, we reward and celebrate results. Follow-up on everything and take responsibility to make sure that tasks get completed. Set high goals, use measurements to track your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.

5. BE IN THE GRAY ZONE. Not everything in life and work is black and white. Although we have policies and procedures, you sometimes need to be in the gray zone, where guidelines and guiding principles are more important than following a rule. While making sure everything you do is ethical and legal, use your judgement and common sense when making decisions. If you’re unsure how to handle something, talk it though with a coworker or a manager.

6. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS. Missing just one detail can have an enormous impact on a job. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work. Get the details right the first time.

7. EMBRACE DIVERSITY. The more perspectives we have the better. We all have something to learn from one another, regardless of where we come from. Welcome our differences and work with each other. Always be helpful, friendly, and open to new ideas and different approaches.

8. GIVE BACK. Be an active part of our community. Give back by contributing your time, effort, and where appropriate, your money, to make your community better. Every little bit matters. You can and do make a difference.

9. HONOR COMMITMENTS. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, meetings, and promises. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored.

10. FIND A WAY. Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. See issues through to their completion

11. SHOW MEANINGFUL APPRECIATION. Point out people who do great work and thank them. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all directions throughout our company.

12. MAKE QUALITY PERSONAL. Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?”

13. “BRING IT” EVERY DAY. Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done.

14. THINK TEAM FIRST. It’s not about you. Never let your own ego or personal agenda get in the way of doing what’s best for the team. Be there for each other and be willing to step into another role or help a co-worker when that’s what’s required for success. Help each other succeed.

15. DELIVER LEGENDARY SERVICE. It’s all about the experience. With every experience, do the little things, as well as the big things, that surprise people. Make every interaction stand out for its helpfulness. Create the “WOW” factor that turns customers into raving fans. This includes both internal and external customers.

16. EMBRACE CHANGE AND GROWTH. What got us here is not the same as what will get us to the next level. Get outside your comfort zone, rather than stubbornly hanging on to old ways of doing things. Be excited by the possibilities that change and growth bring. Be flexible.

17. ACT LIKE IT’S YOURS. Make decisions by asking yourself, “What would I do if this were my company? What would I do if this were my own truck? How would I treat the equipment if I had to pay for it? Will this help the company get better?”

18. WALK IN YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SHOES. Understand your customers’ world. Know what frustrates them. See the world from their perspective. The better you understand them, the more effectively you can anticipate and meet their needs.

19. TAKE INTELLIGENT RISKS. Innovation, improvement, and success don’t come from playing it safe. They come from being willing to try the unconventional and to ask “What if?” Try a new way. Think differently.

20. LISTEN GENEROUSLY. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand.

21. SPEAK STRAIGHT. Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.

22. CREATE A GREAT IMPRESSION. Every conversation, phone call, e-mail, letter, and even voicemail, sets a tone and creates an impression. Pay attention to every interaction and be sure you’re setting a tone that’s friendly, warm, and helpful. Make sure that you, and our equipment, look neat, clean and organized. Take responsibility to see that our office and our job sites reflect our pride.

23. TREASURE, PROTECT, AND PROMOTE OUR REPUTATION. We’re all responsible for, and benefit from, the Ashton Manor image and reputation. Consider how your actions affect our reputation, and be a proud ambassador for the company – even while on breaks.

24. PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM-SOLVING. Demonstrate a relentless solution focus, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve our processes and ourselves so we don’t make the same mistake twice. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.

25. BE A FANATIC ABOUT RESPONSE TIME. Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by e-mail. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we’re “on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.

26. BE RELENTLESS ABOUT IMPROVEMENT. Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. “Because we’ve always done it that way” is not a reason. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more efficiently – without sacrificing quality.

27. ALWAYS ASK WHY. Challenge and question what you don’t understand. Don’t accept anything at “face value” if it doesn’t make sense to you. Be curious, ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently to the answers. Ask the extra question to make sure that you fully understand.

28. BE POSITIVE. You have the power to choose your attitude. Choose to be pleasant, optimistic, and enthusiastic. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Your attitude is contagious. Spread optimism and positive energy.

29. MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES. Take care of yourself at home and at the office. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Balance your time between work, family, life, and physical fitness. Support each other in making healthy choices. The healthier you are, the more you’ll thrive personally and professionally.

30. KEEP THINGS FUN. While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day.