Plant Building and Grounds Services
Governing Boundaries

The following are the governing boundaries of the University of Michigan Grounds and Waste Management department:

The conduct and the actions of every employee must be legal and ethical. If you would not want your mother to know what you are doing or if you feel that what you are doing needs to be kept a secret, it is probably wrong and you (or I) should cease doing it.

The nature of our work requires that we work effectively together. We won't sacrifice the quality of our work nor withhold our best efforts because we cannot have our own way. Our customers don't care much about any personal differences we may have among ourselves. They expect and are entitled to quality work. None of us may withdraw from providing that because we cannot agree or may not like each other.

We keep our word and commitments to others. We never make a promise to deliver something unless we can. If circumstances change or compromise our ability to deliver, we tell the person to whom we have committed what is going on. We do this as soon as possible. We freely give accurate information and avoid rumors.

The work we do and our conduct at work must meet the reasonable needs and expectations of our internal and external customers. Our goal should be to exceed customer needs and expectations. We should always ask ourselves, whether working alone or with others, if what we are doing adds value for the customer. We should resist the idea of doing things that do not add value.

Every day we should question ourselves about the work we do. Whose interests are being served by what we do? If what we do is self-serving rather than for the benefit of our customers, we need to change our paradigms to place service to others ahead of self interest.

We place high personal importance on reporting for work on a regular basis. Accepting empowerment also means accepting responsibility for the success of the department and the division as a whole. While some of our benefits permit us to take time off when we are ill and unfit for service, we acknowledge that regular attendance at all other times is crucial. The success of the department and the division depends on our employees being at work, so we commit to being there. We hold management accountable if reasonable steps are not taken to assure regular attendance by all employees at all levels.

It is okay to do things for others that add value and that are of general benefit to the organization and to customers. It is especially okay if what we do results in no reward other than the self-satisfaction of knowing we've been able to serve others.

Whatever we do must be with awareness for the monetary costs. Wasting resources is an abandonment of empowerment. Putting things back and securing tools and equipment, for instance, are simple extensions of taking personal responsibility for preserving resources. We avoid using University vehicles for running non-work related, personal errands.

Taking personal responsibility for ourselves at work involves creating a safe workplace. We must avoid careless and unsafe acts that expose us or our colleagues to hazards. If we see others acting in unsafe ways, we do not look the other way, especially if they may not realize that they are in some real or potential danger. We pay attention to those around us and we are always circumspect when operating vehicles and equipment and when using tools and materials. We remain mindful that the work we do has to be performed in the midst of students, faculty, staff and visitors.

We take personal responsibility for the proper disposal of the waste we generate, and we avoid the waste of our resources.

Finally, we know that courtesy and manners never go out of style. We are kind to others who are not in our presence; we don't talk negatively about them if they are not around. If we must criticize, we do it constructively and we accept it as willingly as we give it. We praise others and express thanks. We trust ourselves to make good decisions and to do right things for the right reasons without always waiting to be told what to do. When a mistake is made, we learn from it and share our learning with others.

Content modified: October, 2005