The EPIC Creative Blog

Letter From
The President: Open Dork Policy

Written by James Becker, 5 years ago, 0 Comments

We’ve had a rule around here for a long time that taking care of the client, no matter what, is the No. 1 priority. In this business, if clients NEED it today, tomorrow is too late. Sometimes that means long hours, including nights and weekends. Achieving client satisfaction is always a challenge, in my opinion. But we give it everything we’ve got — then 10% extra.

Like anybody else we’re not perfect, but meeting clients’ schedules and budgets and providing excellent creative have always been the cornerstone of our success. Around here we call it the “Triangle of Freedom.” It consists of three things: Providing excellent creative; Meeting the client’s wishes; and Making a profit. (Yes, we deserve that, too.)

As EPIC Creative® continues to grow it becomes more and more difficult to maintain our “Work Hard, Have Fun” attitude. We’ve had to learn how to combine our work culture with the need to implement more processes.

Lucky for me, I get to be king and just make decisions, but more and more employees hold me accountable for my rule breaking; For example, asking me how this or that non-paying job fit into the criteria that I endorse and hold everybody else responsible for. (Admittedly, based on my decisions, we do a lot of charitable and speculative work…)

I guess one answer is that as president and CEO these things are important to me, but another answer is that this entire company has always taken chances, and has always been an organization that gives back. Sometimes you just do what’s right, or at least what you believe in your heart is right.

That goes for our employees, too. If we expect them to take exceptional care of our clients and business, it’s just as crucial that we take care of them … So, amidst our once little company growing up — and the rapid growth that results in added pressure on everybody — there are certain things we will do as long as I am around.

We will provide flexibility with employees’ time, especially when they are facing an illness or a family member’s illness — heck, even with a dog’s or cat’s illness … Allow employees to attend their child’s football, soccer, or volleyball games … Host regular EPIC group activities where all 90+ of us bowl, play in the park, have a casino night or do a spring cleaning pig roast … Offer fair pay and benefits with excellent profit sharing and a comfortable place to work (a new challenge with our rapid growth over the last few years, but we do have Moo Lounge!) … Create an environment where employees can build a career and have opportunities to go as far as their ambition and talent takes them … Establish a family atmosphere where we all pitch in when a fellow worker is down … And finally, offer leadership that is willing to listen. I’ve always had and always will have an open door policy and if my door is open, which it usually is, feel free to come on in and tell me how we can do better… I learned early on to hire people smarter than I, and to provide a place for them to embrace their passions, learn and grow, which has resulted in what we’ve built today — an EPIC place to work.

I know I speak for Joe and Sandy as well, when I say nothing we have accomplished in the past 26 years makes us more proud than the hard-working, creative and kind staff we have assembled out here in little ole West Bend, Wisconsin … Thanks to all of you.

James Becker

About James Becker