As another class of campus hires joins West Monroe, I’m reminded of how far we’ve come on our journey in the 11 years since I accepted the challenge and joined West Monroe. In 2007 I joined right out of school, in one of the first ever large hire classes. Even then, focusing on employees was a core value, and it showed. From the time I accepted my offer, I received a hand-written note in the mail (while at college) congratulating me on a great choice and expressing excitement for me to join the firm. I remember chomping at the bit to get started and can still recall my first day clearly. That early experience set the tone for my employment at West Monroe – I was excited.
Fast forward 11 years, and I find myself continually trying to replicate that experience for each class that joins the firm. Things look very different these days – we have nearly 900 more people and several new offices. The foundation still hasn’t changed much, which makes the company unique and a frequent visitor of the Top Places to Work list in every city that has an office. I’m constantly asked during interviews, how do you guys maintain the culture and still be so profitable? How can you be employee first, in a world that is so customer focused? Don’t you think that your “culture” message is getting to be a common speech that your competitors give their prospective employees?
The more I reflect on what make us unique, the more clearly the difference becomes. We’re not saying employees matter to win awards, attract talent away from competitors, or paint a rosier picture than reality. We’re saying these things because this is the right way to treat people. I’ll admit that due to our size, the family feel is a bit different, but at the end of the day, I still believe that they person sitting next to me is going to do right by our clients, and by our people. Trusting those around you to do the right thing cannot be understated. This trust makes our teams click, our clients feel like we’re different, and ultimately results in an ecosystem of satisfied people.
As our CEO Kevin McCarty often says, we are the “Goldilocks” of the consulting industry. This is a story about a firm that has a knack for growing just the right amount, retaining the Next Generation of Leaders, and focusing on just the right set of core values. I used to think we kept getting lucky, but the more and more I see this philosophy permeate our 1,000+ employees I realize that we truly do have something very special. This isn’t an accident, it is hard work and dedication to our main work product – our people.
Welcome to the class of 2018 – we’re excited to add you to our most valuable asset, our team.