It’s a grainy black and white photo. A little worn and faded with time, but we all know that the young man atop the ladder is our founder. It’s difficult to believe that 70 years and 750,000 homes have passed since Bill Pulte built that first house on the streets of Detroit. I expect that the company Bill founded developed in ways that even he could not have imagined as a teenager standing on a roof with a view to unlimited possibilities.
Since its beginning, our company has benefitted from the strong principles Bill infused into its culture about how we serve customers, how we build homes, and how we treat the people we employ. Exactly how these beliefs were expressed or prioritized have evolved over the decades, but I believe the fundamental elements remain solidly in place today.
If you attended one of my townhall meetings in 2019, you heard firsthand my views on the organizational and operational imperatives of PulteGroup. As we head into a new decade, I want to reaffirm for everyone the goals and expectations against which our Company now operates. The challenging part for me is compressing an hour-long meeting into a few insightful paragraphs, but I will do my best.
Let me start with this simple statement that articulates a lofty ambition: I want PulteGroup to be considered the country’s most respected homebuilder. Yes, I did say I envision us being the country’s most respected homebuilder. As I explained during my townhall meeting, I chose the word respected for a very specific reason. To be respected requires that we are doing a lot of things right. Certainly, it means we are building high quality homes, providing a great customer experience and standing behind our product, but it also means treating our employees and trade partners fairly, while being a good corporate citizen in the cities we serve. There’s no single metric to track our progress, but I think we all know when our actions are adding to or detracting from the perception of PulteGroup.
Achieving this lofty target won’t be easy, but this graphic provides what I view as some of the key building blocks in our pursuit. All are important, but let me highlight two of our goals which I think go hand in hand: Inspired Employees and Exceptional Customer Service.
Homebuilding is a wonderful business that can have a profound impact on peoples’ lives, but let’s be honest, construction is tough. Achieving success in such an industry requires people who are genuinely excited to be a part of PulteGroup. Bill Pulte often said that he never worked a day in his life because he loved what he did. We should all be so inspired. Such inspiration makes it easier to invest the countless hours needed to get a piece of land entitled, a quality home constructed, or a challenging mortgage approved. Such inspiration also makes it easier to invest the time and effort required to deliver Exceptional Customer Service to everyone we serve.
As an employer, I know PulteGroup must do its part to generate such inspiration. This is why PulteGroup clearly defines its Commitments to all employees. We must provide Work that Moves You within an environment that provides Opportunities to Grow in terms of your skills and your career. We will also have to be A Company that Brings You Pride in everything from the quality of our homes to how we treat our customers, our employees, and environments in which we operate. Only by being our best can we expect your best.
With more than 5,000 employees working across the country, how do we help ensure day-to-day decisions are aligned with our organizational goals? This is what Our Guiding Principles are all about, as they can provide help and direction when making decisions throughout the organization. It’s probably no surprise that they focus on our customers, our quality and our people. If you can’t remember all four principles, make your decisions based on trying to Do the Right Thing. I am sure we will be successful, and PulteGroup will be a company that you will be proud to work for.
One last point that I want to leave you with as we kickoff a new year and new decade. Consistent with our work to better define our goals, commitment and principles, we took this opportunity to more closely align our purpose with how we, as an organization, see our business. Our new purpose statement was developed with input from employees and I believe it captures what we really do every day: Building Incredible Places Where People Can Live Their Dreams. As an organization, we will be transitioning to this new statement as the year progresses.
I think Bill Pulte would be pleased with PulteGroup’s success, and proud to see that his values on customers, quality and people continue to guide the organization. How a company operates its business and what its brand stands for culturally grows ever more important, so you can expect to hear more on our goals, commitments and principles as the year progresses.
Thank you for your efforts and I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy and successful New Year.