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Orchid Blog

Service Before Self

Posted: Monday, April 06, 2015

We are extremely blessed to work for an organization with such a rich mission and comprehensive set of core values. Our mission is really quite incredible when you think about it: to provide the opportunity for people to live a better life. This starts at each one of our divisions with providing the opportunity for our employees to live a better life by supporting their families. By each of us taking care of what we need to in our roles, it then extends out to the other nearly 2,000 Orchid employees and their opportunity to support their families. Of course, this means that our customers can provide a similar opportunity to their employees which number in the hundreds of thousands. And finally, the end users of the products we produce (which number in the millions around the world) have regained their mobility and personal freedom – which allows them to live a fuller and better life.

So with all the options out there, why would our customers want to work with Orchid? We frequently hear the same things: because of the culture we have here, and who we are. What makes us different from our competitors are our core values. These are the foundation for “how we do things around here” and what makes us “Us.” It is very important that we keep on the lookout every day to “catch one another demonstrating alignment to our core values” and recognize one another for doing so. It is a truly special thing when we spend our time, energy and effort trying to catch one another doing good, instead of worrying about who isn’t following the rules.

Perhaps our most unique – and misunderstood – values is “Service before self.” In talking with employees in Chelsea, and at other sites, I ask for examples of how we have seen our core values lived out in the recent past. This core value is frequently paired with examples of people having “given up their Saturday or weekend” or having “stayed late to get the job done.” These are noble things to do, and personal sacrifices for which we are all thankful. However, this core value is not suggesting that we sacrifice our personal lives at the alter or Orchid. This core value is “Service before self” not “Service instead of self.”

We have another core value which works with this one, and it is to have an enviable place to work (and do business). To be able to have an enviable place to work and live our service before self, we need to be practicing living lives in balance – where we work to support our families, and balance that with the importance of spending time with those same families. So service before self does not mean we stop spending quality time with the very families we are working to support.

Service before self does mean that we serve one another in order that we might all (including ourselves) benefit. A great example of this is when a teammate brings up a difficult subject (for example: something about which there is disagreement, or holds a teammate accountable for his/her actions or performance, etc.). If we put our “self” and our own personal comfort first, we would never be the one to bring up the uncomfortable subject (we would just ignore it, or pretend it didn’t exist). When we are willing to serve one another and the whole team, we do our part to talk about the important issues, even when they are uncomfortable.

We also serve one another by helping out, even when the work isn’t as glamorous as what we might like. So we pitch in and help clean the floors, help take out the garbage, carry the boxes, clean up the break room, etc. We put the service to the team before our own personal “self” comfort. And here’s the best part: in doing these things, everyone benefits – even our own “self.” By putting service before self, each of us actually benefits our unique selves as well!

Thank you to each and every one of our nearly 2,000 employees worldwide for being part of a unique and incredible culture. I am very proud to tell people I work for Orchid and to describe the incredible culture we are creating each and every day, as we serve one another and collectively reap the benefits for ourselves, our customers and the millions around the world whose lives are better because of what we do, and how we do it.

By: Patrick Davidson
General Manager
Orchid Chelsea