PDP Perspective: Giles Ufer on the Importance of Culture in the Workplace
Searching for a company that holds goals and values that align with yours is a task I knew was important to me while I was interviewing for a post-college graduation career. I made it a goal of mine to land at a company that valued culture, encouraged employee growth and development, and had good pay and benefits. While salary may be straightforward, company culture was a harder trait that was not necessarily proved in the first interview. This was the type of thing that had to be experienced, the aspect of a company that couldn’t be fully understood until you were in the midst of it.
Recruiters will seldomly refer to their culture as underwhelming or needing improvement, which makes it critical to sift through those who represent their company as having an extraordinary culture without evidence of current employee satisfaction or company initiatives to improve their culture deficits.
When I first arrived at Pegasus, I heard from multiple employees on how amazing the culture was and how much they valued all employees working to maintain it. I was nervous to see if it would live up to these expectations. Spoiler alert, it did not meet but exceeded my expectations. At Pegasus, the culture is not only something that is just talked about, it is lived out every single workday. Each team member is actively striving for ways to improve our culture and finding ways to continue to help it thrive.
I have found that companies with impressive cultures often don’t just post their mission statement or core values on their website. They are the foundation on which the company was built. Ken Beam, founder and CEO of Pegasus Logistics Group, established our core values over 25 years ago with his initial team. Ever since then, he has promoted and prioritized them to be the cornerstone of his company:
- Fanatical and Passionate about Customer Satisfaction
- Everybody Wins
- Looking at Tomorrow Today
- It is Not for Everyone. It’s Only for the Best
- The Difference is Fun
At Pegasus, we go a step further than posting the five core values on our website. We define and celebrate our core values. You can find the values written on our office walls across each location, on t-shirts given out to employees to wear, on the back of our ID badges, spoken about during our monthly companywide meetings, and more. The constant reminder of these values allows each one of us to recognize our priorities as a company and to rally around them together to continue keeping the culture alive.
Another way we uphold our company culture is through a team called, Culture Navigators. This group is compiled up of individuals that are dedicated to representing and promoting our culture. They assist in fostering its cultivation throughout each department and role. Within the Culture Navigators are committees focused on different areas to ensure the execution of our vibrant culture.
Our committees include: Outreach, Community Service, Wellness, and Events. The Outreach Committee is dedicated to making sure each of our offsite locations feels connected with our corporate headquarters. The Community Service Committee organizes service events to give back to our local community by donating time, money, and/or resources to help our neighboring residents and cities. The Wellness Committee focuses on health incentives and goals to keep us active and living a healthy lifestyle. The Events Committee helps plan all internal Pegasus events such as Fat Tuesday, the company picnic, assorted holiday celebrations throughout the year, and birthday/work anniversaries. These dedicated teams and its leaders don’t just want to support and improve our culture, but actively look for ways to enrich the company environment.
My Personal Experience
How this company’s culture has impacted me over the last ten months at Pegasus is a big part of what drives me to write about our culture. My name is Giles Ufer and I am a PDP, Professional Development Program, here at Pegasus Logistics. The PDP program is designed for recent college graduates, like me, to help individuals transition from a student to a successful professional beginning their career. Pegasus invests 10-12 months into learning, through a rotational schedule within most of the company’s departments. Individuals are assigned a dedicated trainer in each department that help facilitate learning of each facet of our company and the logistics industry. The PDP not only shadows and learns the role and responsibility of each department, but they also take on some of the tasks to foster hands-on learning.
For almost a year now, I’ve had the privilege to learn, grow, and train with industry experts in an ever-expanding field. Pegasus does not want their employees to simply “get by” but sets up each of their employees to thrive in whatever they do. This commitment is evident in the way the company listens to you and how actively each leader works to help your voice be heard. For example, this very article was written by a first-year employee and committee lead of Community Service on the Culture Navigators.
All the above evidence supports why Pegasus has been awarded Best Place to Work three years in a row. Further evidence of our culture excellence can be seen in the average employee tenure of 15 years and our average client tenure of 12 years. I am so thankful to work for a company with a strong culture and support system, and to be surrounded by teammates that not only want me to succeed but will do whatever they can to help make that happen. I hope to work here for many years to come, so that I can continue to enjoy the culture, as well as be a part of a team that works hard to improve itself and never rests to be the best. As two of our core values state: Everybody wins, and It’s Only for the Best.
About Giles Ufer, PDP
Giles Ufer is a PDP at Pegasus Logistics Group, he graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2019 with a degree in Marketing with an emphasis in Sales. In the Professional Development Program, Giles has trained with every department over the last year learning the nuances of the company to become an industry expert. Once finished with the program, Giles will take on the role of Sales Account Executive. He is passionate about this role and is looking forward to stepping into this new position. On the weekends you will find Giles on the golf course or fixing up his house.