Nerdy fact…a show called How It’s Made once did a segment on the making of steel belted radial tires. I am sure you can Google it. Strands of steel are integrated into the rubber helping to create a structure of exceptional strength. In fact, should a member of your family scrape a curb fast enough and hard enough to shear off a portion of the tire, you can actually see these strands; trust me on this one.

Corporate culture is a lot like steel belts inside a tire; you can’t see it, but it provides vital strength and stability to the larger organization. Such strength is important for day-to-day function, but it’s absolutely critical for those times when you hit a curb at a high rate of speed.

Over the past few months, we have hit a few curbs in the form of a frightening global pandemic, a painful downsizing of our organization and, most recently, a powerful reminder of the social inequities that remain in our great nation. At times, we had to move fast and make hard decisions knowing that we didn’t and couldn’t have certainty as to the ultimate outcome. What we did have, however, was a trust in each other that has been purposefully built and nurtured over many years.

I believe this trust is again on full display in PulteGroup’s 2020 Gallup Engagement scores, which continued to move higher and remain among the top 5% of companies globally. In a survey where gains are measured in basis points, the jump from the 79th to the 86th percentile is huge. Think old school Michael Jordon or new school Zion Williamson type of elevation. The dramatic increase in overall performance was driven by meaningful gains in each of the critical Q12 questions, which range from having the tools for your job and a chance to do your best to having opportunities for development and personal growth.

Looking at the accompanying graph and the gains we have achieved together over the past decade, I can’t help but feel a great sense of achievement, although I appreciate that we will always have areas for improvement.

We will of course continue our work to raise the bar even higher, although action planning will be a little different this year with a reliance on virtual interactions and a longer time period given for action planning. What won’t change is our determination to meet the ever-evolving needs of our employees and creating a culture in which each individual can feel at home and have a foundation for personal accomplishment. Managers were provided their team’s engagement results today and will be reaching out in the coming weeks to share the results, identify areas of focus and, most importantly, how to best support you in this changing environment.

Let me close by saying thank you for your commitment to each other and, in turn, this organization. The past few months have been hard, and I have no doubt that challenges remain, but we have and will continue moving forward together.