Where are the Cantu’s of Business?

The fascinating part of the Best Companies in 2014 is the majority of them are technology, health care, and finance industries. What is it about these industries that are the focal point of what society views as the “best”? Why are these three industries leading in the world’s innovations?

Everyone’s perspectives of ethics are questioned because they are viewed differently. Ethics are governed by guidelines set by businesses and the law. Morals come from cultural norms. These two intersect because it is the internal and external views of any situation. Ethics are based on rules of conduct by society’s standards and morals are the principles of right and wrong doing by individuals. When we look at these two components we can see where the fine line meets. We can see how the foundation of a business should be grounded on ethical procedures but it is solely dependent on the morals of the person that is overseeing the process. If these two components are not embedded into the leaders of these organizations, it cannot be a good company.

Terminix International is a Service Master company that provides pest control service to residential and commercial customers. Service Master was founded in 1929 and incorporated in 1947. It has several entities that fall under its umbrella such as Merry Maid, Tru Green, and American Home Shield. The company states, “ServiceMaster’s corporate governance is guided by our board of directors and management team to ensure we serve the interests of shareholders, customers and employees with the highest standards of responsibility, integrity and compliance.” When this company was under the leadership of Albert Cantu, the overall atmosphere of the company was beneficial to all parties involved. For the years he served as the President of the company, they showed tremendous growth each quarter. The overall employee morale was at an all-time high and customer retention was the lowest it had ever seen. Why did all these positive events happen? Cantu’s business model was simple, if his employees was happy than his customers would be even happier. This business culture began to manifest in every office throughout the United States. Albert’s father Carlos Cantu was the CEO of ServiceMaster until his death in 1999. After five years of being the President of ServiceMaster he was forced out. Within a year of this occurrence, the company stock dropped and its retention rate was over 10%. The company’s net income was in the negative for three consecutive years. One of the values that Albert Cantu valued was family. Terminix was a family under his leadership which lead to a high morale and business ethics being adhered to at all times. Once Cantu was gone, the business culture changed tremendously thus I believe is why the company begin to loss profits. Leadership plays an important role in the ethical culture of a company. Cantu’s leadership style allowed Terminix to flourish.

Is it ethical to encourage employees to stay at work because of all the incentives they have at hand? How much time is too much time at work? Are we really getting paid correctly for the many hours that we are giving to companies? Companies like Google offer all of these “incentives” to spend more time at work but it doesn’t take into account other duties or responsibilities a person may want to have in their life. I worked for one of Google’s vendors in NYC and had to visit the facility a couple of times. During my times there, it amazed me how much it seemed like people where doing more playing than working. But the individual that escorted me through the building assured me that work was taking place. I guess the strange expression on my face showed exactly what I was thinking. As I walked through the sections, it seemed like Dave and Buster…a lot of laughter, a lot of team collaboration, and a lot of distractions. Google’s approach to business is not the norm but it is evident that the job is getting done. Are these elements that are being offered a distraction or a help? Are these incentives boosting the moral?



One thought on “Where are the Cantu’s of Business?”

  1. Hi Equilla! I’ve never heard of Terminix International before, but I found it refreshing to learn about a company that has (or had, I guess) a great attitude towards their stakeholders. It seemed really interesting to me how powerful the top-down approach to organizational culture can be: after so many years of building a culture based on belonging and family, the change in management had a visible negative impact after less than a year. I would have expected perhaps a more gradual decline and I’m curious to what exactly the new management did to worsen the company’s situation so quickly.


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