For those who work at Nucor, knowing, expressing and living out a certain culture is crucial. We know the type of company we want Nucor Grating to be, and a strong positive culture among employees is one of the most important steps in achieving that goal.
But saying you want a strong culture and actually having one are two very different things. Talking only goes so far – to really find success, you must define and act. That’s exactly what Nucor strives to do in living The Nucor Way.
The Nucor Way was developed through research and discussion among Nucor teammates, who were tasked with finding the best ways to articulate the ideal cultural experience within the company. Throughout these discussions, common themes emerged, paving the way to the principles that eventually made up The Nucor Way.
These ten principles guide every aspect of Nucor and Nucor Grating – from start to finish, across all business lines and throughout the customer experience.
Why start with integrity? Because if we fail to live up to this principle, our culture isn’t where we want it to be. Simply put, without strong integrity across our organization and from every teammate, Nucor Grating cannot become the type of cultural success for which we aspire.
As this driving force, integrity means that our word is non-negotiable. Our goal is to have a foundation of trust throughout – from our customers to our teammates and in every interaction. If we make a mistake, we don’t pass the blame. We own up to what happened and do whatever it takes to make it right again. If we make a promise to a customer, they know that promise will be kept, and they won’t have to waste their time wondering if we will come through. That’s the type of integrity we hold onto at Nucor.
At Nucor, the sum is always greater than the individual parts. When we come together, we make this company better and more successful than it would ever be if we are apart. That’s the essence of teamwork, the second principle of The Nucor Way.
From our selective hiring practices to our flat organizational configuration and family-like atmosphere, teamwork is a centerpiece to what makes working at Nucor Grating great. We strive to foster a commitment to coming together and helping whenever it is needed, because when Nucor Grating succeeds, we all succeed as a team.
We aren’t perfect. Nobody is. But what makes Nucor different is that we put personal responsibility as a principle of The Nucor Way, meaning that we are continuously striving to improve and doing what is right. Personal responsibility means taking pride in what we do and how we do it and knowing that it’s up to us to do our part.
But personal responsibility means much more to an organization like ours. Safety is crucial in our work, and a focus on ensuring that safety is at its highest level for us and for those around us makes our company great. There is no excuse for not making safety a priority, because at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to take care of our teammates and our customers.
It may be true that a company lacking in open communication can exist, maybe even enjoy a long lifespan. But it is also true that these types of companies cannot thrive, cannot reach their true potential and find lasting success. That is why open communication is one of the principles of The Nucor Way.
We foster this concept by instituting an open-door policy among our teammates. At every level of the business, we encourage discussion and the introduction of ideas that may improve how we operate. Not only this, but our teammates know they have a trusting and open avenue for addressing any concerns they may have. We want our teammates to feel empowered in their roles and empowered in their impact to the company, and having open communication is a big piece of that feeling.
You could say that at Nucor, optimism is less of a principle and more a way of life. We approach each day and each task with the mindset that no matter the current situation, things can always improve. And not only that, but we can help make things better for ourselves and those around us.
We know there will be ups and downs – in life, in business, in our industry – but we are optimistic that we can work to make the ups higher and the downs not so low. And it’s not just the big things that we can be optimistic about, but the everyday things as well. Whether it’s working to ensure that our company continues on a path of economic success or finding a way to make sure that a piece of equipment is better suited to withstand a mechanical failure in the future, The Nucor Way of optimism encompasses them all.
INNOVATIVE/WILLING TO CHANGE
Innovation and a willingness to change is not only a principle of The Nucor Way, but it is at the core of our history. Our story as a company begins with a vision of innovation and a willingness to get away from “the way it’s always been done.” Nucor has been guided on this principle to always look for new and innovative ways to improve our business and thinking outside the box in ways we can succeed.
The aforementioned policy of giving our teammates the ability to suggest new ways in which to take our business is driven in part by this principle. You never know where the next big idea may lie, or where the next innovation may come from – but at Nucor, we know that they are out there, and we are committed to finding them.
TREAT PEOPLE THE RIGHT WAY
Not only is this principle a good way to run a business, but it’s also a good way to live your life. Treating people the right way shows others that they matter, and that we will always strive to treat them the way we’d like to be treated. When you give this type of effort, you often get it right back, and that makes everyone’s lives better.
At Nucor Grating, we have developed our Employee Relations Principles, which are driven by the idea of treating people the right way and improving our culture in this area. These include the Right to be Treated Fairly, the existence of an Avenue of Appeal, and the understanding of Do Your Job Well, Have it Tomorrow. All these drive toward a confluence of fairness, support, and empowerment that we hope to provide to our teammates through The Nucor Way.
There’s a quote from Henry Ford that says, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” At Nucor, our can-do attitude ensures we are right about our ability to succeed. All the effort in the world means little if you don’t have the right attitude, and The Nucor Way strives for our teammates to have and act with this in mind.
Our customers have come to know us as an organization who can achieve the unexpected and will always rise to the occasion. That is our can-do attitude in action. Our teammates come into work every day with the knowledge that whatever comes their way, there is a solution. That is our can-do attitude in action.
Difficult to define, included in almost every company’s “must have” lists, work ethic is something that has become synonymous with success, although often with little concrete evidence to back up why. However, this ambiguity is one of the reasons why it is a necessary principle of The Nucor Way. To us, work ethic can’t be confined to a tidy definition – it is a mindset that permeates our day-to-day in ways we sometimes don’t even realize.
Work ethic is one of the principles that is most apparent to our fellow teammates and our customers, even though what they call work ethic may vary. At Nucor Grating, we see work ethic as striving for excellence and the willingness to do what it takes to get there. It’s a principle that starts with us as individuals and relies on us to provide it with life – a life that shows how Nucor Grating is different.
PRIDE IN WHAT WE DO
Much like work ethic, pride in what we do starts with you. It’s the knowledge that you did whatever you could to ensure that your work is top-notch and was performed using The Nucor Way. We are proud of our products and our service, but we are also proud of our teammates and our culture.
This principle could also be interpreted as pride in who we are, because these same characteristics help drive Nucor. We are proud of what we have created as an organization, and with The Nucor Way, this is a feeling we will have for a long time.