Color Theory, LLC
Employee Standards and Agreements
Welcome to our great team of quality performance in the painting and decorating industry. Thank you for your dedicated work and talent for the craft. The document you are reading is filled with great council and advice for how to succeed as a painter or designer in our company. In addition to great tips and trick of the trade are employee standards and agreements that must be agreed upon in order to continue or begin working at this great company. If one or more items of this document can’t be agreed upon, please let me know and we can talk about whether this is company and culture is the right fit for you. This document is an evolving form intended to grow with the company and as such will be revised and updated frequently and must be reviewed and agreed upon at the time of the incremental updates.
The Employee Standards and Agreements document will cover code of conduct, production quality and tracking, appearance and attire, accountability, pay and profit sharing structure, company culture and the reason we paint. I’d like to begin with that last item: “the reason we paint”. It's a great place to start because it really is the foundation for why we have standards in the first place.
I understand that painting houses is probably not a job that anyone ever has aspired to. Especially those of us with liberal arts degrees. I have a BFA and when one of my professors told me that I should stick to the painting business and maintain my art practice on the side, my first thought was, “I’d rather paint art than houses.” Which is definitely a logical thing to want to do. However, after I left school I learned that the vast majority of artists in the world are students and that when an artist seizes being a student so ends their art career. I am not unique in this and as the need to fund my existence loomed I decided that I can either be passionate about an identity that I do not have the time or the resources to become or I can bring my passion with me to a different kind of art. A much simpler art, but I do believe it is an art.
From our company website:
“We really love painting. Something about it is so unnerving and peaceful. What we find, is that in the quiet moments, once all of the furniture is cleared out, the picture frames are taken down and the nail holes filled in, a calming feeling comes over the body. We are able to step back and out of the world, throw our cares to the side and let our mind be distilled by the simplicity of what we do. A freshly prepped room waiting for paint is like a new blank canvas which to an artist is the beginning of inspiration.
We're all about fresh, crisp, clean lines and rich color. You'll be amazed by the care we put into every room. Meticulous and careful is how I'd describe our work ethic. We understand the fundamental desire for every American to have a home that is more than just a place to live but a sanctuary, safe and calm. We believe painting has the cure to help you unwind and decompress for the day. That's why we take so much pride in what we do. That's what makes us Color Theory.”
I once painted for a Guggenheim Fellow which is a very prestigious artist residency who convinced me of our art only by telling me that it was one. Maybe I didn’t need to be esteemed as an artist by another artist to be convinced of it, but it felt good. The more I think of it though, the more I believe it. While our work does have protective qualities necessary for the construction of a building, it’s not what keeps the walls standing. Instead, it's the color that brings a home to life. I can’t count how many times I’ve done the “big reveal” with a client and they’re excitement and joy ignites the whole room. We are doing something that is individual and tailored to the personality of the people we help. We are helping to choose colors that compliment the artwork and furniture of their home which speaks to who they are. Just like they select a painting that says something to them and have communed with an artist, in that way so too do we commune with our homeowners in helping them arrive at a color that uniquely describes them through their home.
Maybe you can’t identify with all of that and are just thinking, “Torlando, I just want a check.” If that’s all you want then maybe this isn’t the career for you. We want something more. You don’t have to be inspired to consider yourself an artist or designer per se but if all you are here for is a paycheck and would much rather be following your dream of doing something at least a little more closely related to your degree then don’t let this job keep you in town. Do yourself and all of us a favor and follow that passion. But if you’re like me and you know that its not any certain career field that’s hoarding all of the passion and that it's you that has to bring the passion with you to whatever you’re doing and you find joy and fulfillment out of hard, honest work and serving people, then by all means, let’s do this!
Vision & Mission
Color Theory has the look, feel and make up of a regional and national brand for home painting and decorating as it pertains to the use of color. Over the course of the next 20 years we see our brand and identity being at the tip of the tongue for color related elements in the home.
Our mission is to deliver an honest and clean service aiding people in the inspiration and selection of color schemes for their home. We strive daily to improve the quality of our craftsmanship and to create a stress free work environment for both homeowners and fellow employees.
The above statements are critical for the advancement of our company. They paint a future for where we can be. In a basic sense we are trying to connect people with color in a meaningful way. Today we are a painting and color consultation company. Tomorrow we are the total picture for color in the home. This ranges from our current offerings (painting and color consultation) to full interior design all the way to inspiration through social media (instagram, blogging, twitter, pinterest, etc) and print media (color trend brochures and magazines).
I am very serious when I say that this is a company with a big future and we are looking for dedicated individuals to bring their passion with them to build something. We want individuals who have their own visions and ideas who are willing to take risks and weave their own identity into the fabric of our company. Those who will succeed in Color Theory are the ones willing to let go of what they thought their future would be and decide to create their future here.
Code of Conduct
We want every employee to comport themselves to the best of their ability on all job sites and around homeowners and leaders especially. Here are a list of expectations, the which if not adhered to may result in deselection (i.e. termination).
Always act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness; respect the opinions of others and treat all with equality and dignity without regard to gender, race, color, creed, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, marital status, disability, age, or sexual orientation.
Promote the mission and objectives of Color Theory, LLC in all dealings with the public on behalf of Color Theory, LLC and according to the standards set forth by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA).
Provide a positive and valued experience for those receiving service within and outside of Color Theory, LLC.
Act with honesty and integrity and in accordance with PDCA standards and / or governing laws and legislation that have application to the responsibilities you perform for or on behalf of Color Theory, LLC.
Comply with both the letter and the spirit of any training or orientation provided to you by Color Theory, LLC in connection with those responsibilities.
Adhere to the policies and procedures of Color Theory, LLC and support the decisions and directions of the presiding body and its delegated authority.
Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Follow reporting lines to facilitate the effective resolution of problems. Ensure that you do not exceed the authority of your position.
Respect Color Theory, LLC clientele and their homes. Do not lie, steal, smoke, drink alcohol or use of illegal substances, act rudely or dismissive, curse around or criticize any aspect of a home owner’s home whether present or not.
Respect and maintain the confidentiality of information gained as an employee, including, but not limited to, all computer software, passwords and files of Color Theory, LLC and also that which is observed or learned in a home or job site. This includes but is not limited to, addresses, telephone numbers, garage codes, wifi passwords, house keys, etc.
Respect and maintain the confidentiality of individual personal information about fellow employees and clients gained through your role in Color Theory, LLC
Do not Gossip.
Sexual harassment is any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that one would find to be unwanted or unwelcome by any individual, or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that individual as placing a condition of sexual nature on an employment or career development.
Personal harassment means any conduct whether verbal or physical that is discriminating in nature, based upon another person’s race, color, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, sex, age or sexual orientation. It is discriminatory behavior, directed at an individual, that is unwanted or unwelcome and causes substantial distress in that person and serves no legitimate work-related purpose.
Color Theory, LLC has a zero tolerance policy with respect to Personal /Sexual Harassment. Personal/Sexual Harassment in any form is strictly prohibited and may be grounds for termination as an intern, or, in the case of an employee, immediate dismissal for just cause without notice or pay in lieu of notice.
Strict observance of the Code is fundamental to the activity and reputation of Color Theory, LLC. It is essential that all employees (permanent full-time, hourly, fixed term contract, permanent part-time), and any other third party service provider in face-to-face contact with our clients adhere to this Code. They will certify this by signing a Declaration that they have read and will abide by this Code.
I have read, understand and agree to abide by the Code of Color Theory, LLC and I understand that such adherence is a condition of my employment. I understand that a violation of the Code of Conduct may be grounds for termination as an intern or in the case of an employee immediate dismissal for just cause without notice or pay in lieu of notice.
Appearance and Attire
Color Theory at its heart is a design company. The end result is a perfectly painted and well crafted wall space and an inviting home. But before receiving the end result the customer passes through several phases that lead up to that result. The first step is the introduction to our company through our slick and well designed brand. The Color Theory name and logo is simple and elegant using color as its main driver to show the public who we are. The orange lettering with simple typeface and light blue paint sample make use of color theory basics just like our name implies. It's a clean and subtle design just like the service of our work. Then the customer is directed to our web home, www.colortheorypainting.com. This is honestly the best website that I’ve ever seen for a painting company. I’d dare say that only a top percentage of painting companies would even have access to the design impetus that was involved in creating such and elegant design. We are very proud of our website and see it as a leader in the industry. We also see that it has great untapped potential as a source of continual inspiration for prospective customers through rich media content. Next the customer meets face to face with a Color Theory representative for an estimate. This is the “get to know you” period where the customer is more than anything deciding whether or not they can trust Color Theory in their home. The estimator makes the first impression. Their goal is to be an upfront representation of what the entire experience will be. If the estimator is upbeat and trustworthy, the assumption is that crew will be upbeat and trustworthy. If the estimator is wearing a Color Theory logo shirt, the assumption is that the crew will be wearing a Color Theory logo shirt.
It is required that all Color Theory employees wear a Color Theory logo shirt and white painters pants or shorts. This is non-negotiable. White painters pants/shorts can be purchased online through dickies.com, at Rural King or Bloomington Paint and Wallpaper. Color Theory logo shirts can be purchase at cost plus shipping through the company. New uniforms must be purchase semi-annually in order to maintain a clean appearance.
In addition to attire, general hygiene and grooming must be thoroughly kempt and purposeful. By adhering to these policies Color Theory customers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief when the crew loads in all the way through to the end of the project when we get to be witnesses to their astonishment of what feels like a new home.
I have read, understand and agree to abide by the Appearance and Attire Guidelines of Color Theory, LLC and I understand that such adherence is a condition of my employment. I understand that a violation of the Appearance and Attire standards may be grounds for termination as an intern or in the case of an employee immediate dismissal for just cause without notice or pay in lieu of notice.
Next I’ll share an excerpt from the Proposal Packet that we send to each and every customer before sending them the estimate. The section is titled “Our Work” and starts with an example of our work followed by a review written by one of our clients. I personally had very little to do with the painting of this room. I did adjust the color like you read Megan mentioning but other than that it was painted by Color Theory Team Members. I’m proud of the work of our Team. We have talented painters who have the capability of great quality.
We painted the interior walls and offered color consultation in this beautiful home.
Here is what this client said:
“Torlando and his crew are truly amazing! They are talented, professional, kind and hardworking. They started the work prior to us moving in and managed to work without our water even turned on for several days while we tried to fix the issue. They never complained once... Just kept plowing through. I picked the colors remotely and Torlando was kind enough to test them out in the house prior to ordering them. He realized some of the colors needed to be a bit warmer for the new flooring, and adjusted them accordingly... And gorgeously! He was dead on, and I'm so grateful for his expertise! After our flooring was put in the installers forgot to caulk the floorboards, and Torlando handled all of that for us. Torlando came up with fantastic and fun ideas for both of our children's bedrooms. We are thrilled! I can not say enough positive things about my experience. I was actually sad when the project was finished... I'm going to miss the crew:). This house is fabulous... All thanks to Torlando's team!”
We have a very high rating on Angie’s List which is our primary lead generating source. We’ve earned their Super Service Award three times in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Our company was named Best of Bloomington 2014 in the painter category by the Bloomington Award Program. We are the number one recommended paint company by Bloomington Paint and Wallpaper, our local paint supply store which is a huge honor and is a big part of our business. That means they trust us more than anybody else with their own customers. Maintaining that quality and reputation is of the utmost importance. Are you starting to see the big picture? Our company is the shining light in an industry full of muddle.
The way we maintain and improve our quality is going to continue to differentiate us from the competition. In the past, we’ve used the honor system with relatively no specific processes and barely qualified suggestions to improve and maintain quality. But as a company grows its team gets stretched thin and when they are stretched thin things happen. The boss is on less and less job sites trying to manage all of the work coming in, accidents abound, sloppy or quick work becomes frequent and the rippling effects slow down momentum and ruin a once good reputation. For this purpose we track our work and attach the performance to the profit sharing structure. We will be replacing our current paper time sheets with a program called Tsheets. You will be given a login and temporary password. Tsheets will allow you the check in from any mobile phone using an iOS or Android app, web browser or text message. For more information on this topic visit the Time Tracking section of the Training Guides.
The following benchmarks will be used as per PDCA standards to determine what constitutes a properly painted surface. These articles are also given to the customer as part of the contract for labor. All Color Theory employees and third party providers must be made aware of these standards and comply with said standards.
The following procedures will be applied as necessary to your particular job under normal conditions:
All furnishing and floors will be covered and protected
Walls will be scraped, patched, and sanded. They will also be re-inspected and patched as necessary before final coats are applied.
Fill wall and ceiling cracks with spackling compound, let dry, and sand smooth
More advanced cracks will receive an application of fiberglass joint tape, will be spackled and sanded smooth.
Glossy surfaces and trim will be sanded and cleaned to assure proper paint adhesion.
Scrape and sand rough areas due to previous paint failure.
Caulk cracks in wood trim and along wall/trim interface.
Apply a stain sealer to water and tannin wood stains.
Work areas will be cleaned-up and vacuumed, and debris will be taken away.
Upon completion, left over paint will be labeled and left at the job site.
Hardware to be removed and re-installed. Includes curtain rods, window latches, switch plates and cover plates. Door knobs, thermostats, alarm system hardware will not be removed.
Walls and/or Ceilings:
Apply two (2) coats of interior latex flat paint of highest quality to walls and/or ceilings
Apply one(1) or two (2) coats of interior latex semi-gloss paint of highest quality to trim TBD by home-owner and contractor.
Exterior surfaces will be pressure washed and extracted of mildew prior to painting or staining.
Scraping, caulking, spot-priming and filling holes follow.
Apply one(1) coat to surfaces of same color or two(2) coats of surfaces of a different color.
All work is to be completed in a workman like manner according to standard practices. Worker/s will remain on job until completion of project. Work site will be cleaned daily and upon project completion. All agreements are contingent upon strikes, accidents, or delays beyond our control such as poor weather conditions.
The painting contractor and/or sub-contractor will produce a "properly painted surface". A "properly painted surface" is one that is uniform in color and sheen. It is one that is free of foreign material, lumps, skins, runs, sags, holidays, misses or insufficient coverage. It is a surface that is free of drips, spatters, spills, or over-spray caused by the painting and decorating contractor’s workforce. Compliance to meeting the criteria of a "properly painted surface" shall be determined when viewed without magnification at a distance thirty-nine (39) inches or one (1) meter, or more, under finished lighting conditions and from a normal viewing position.
Additional scrutiny of work may also determine the quality of the painted surface by the supervising painter or manager. This scrutiny aught to be within reason namely noting straight cut lines, correction of tape bleed through and over all cleanliness of the job site.
In the event of an accident, spill or damage to property, supervising management must be made aware. If the action is correctable such as a spill or overspray, the area must be cleaned and corrected immediately and cannot be left to correct the following day. If the action is irreversible the supervising manager and the homeowner must be made aware and the person or persons responsible for the damage will be held liable for professional fees or replacement for costs not to exceed $500 in damage. Anything over $500 will be covered by insurance however the deductible of $500 will still be the responsibility of the person or persons culpable. Irreversible damages exceeding $500 dollars will result in deselection.
Conduct, disorder, poor craftsmanship or accidents resulting in customer complaints or call-backs will disqualify an employee for Profit Sharing related to that job. No less than three customer complaints in a year period may result in deselection. Conduct, disorder, poor craftsmanship or accidents resulting in Color Theory being asked to leave the job site prior to completion will be subject to review for the first infraction resulting in a three month probationary state or deselection. A second infraction within a 2 year period of the same person or persons culpable will result in deselection without review.
I have read, understand and agree to follow best production practices set forth by Color Theory, LLC and the PDCA. I understand that I am responsible for my own workmanship and must correct any mistake or low quality work or be monetarily liable as described in the above portion of this document.
Attendance and Availability
The schedule is maintained based on an employee's availability. Availability must be determined a month at a time. If a change in schedule needs to happen it must be requested before the last Saturday of the month. In the event that a schedule change must happen mid month, sick days and/or vacation days may be applied to the days missing from the schedule unless they are able to find an equal leveled employee to cover their shift. Employees may use up to 8 sick days within a year and are eligible for two business weeks of vacation time (i.e. 10 work days). Any time taken off beyond the given sick days or vacation days is subject to review and possible deselection. All employees must work the entire scheduled shift with some flexibility accounted for travel distance, weather or finishing projects before the end of a shift. An employee may not begin work on a residential home prior to 8:00am or finish after 6:00pm of an occupied residence without clearance. Typical business hours are 8:30am-5:30pm with one hour of lunch scheduled. In days of inclement heat or similar strenuous conditions 5-10 minute breaks are encouraged once before and once after lunch. However in normal working conditions the regular lunch break will be sufficient. Cell phones may be used for 1 or 2 brief phone calls throughout the day. Time sheets must be paused and resumed in the event of any stoppage or break. Texting should be limited to breaks and lunch time. Headphones may be used for audio devices however a low volume is encouraged so that the employee can hear when a customer, manager or fellow employee approaches them.
These are certainly strict guidelines that Color Theory intends to follow effective immediately. Any incidents prior to the agreement of these standards and agreements will not be considered. We hope that you will agree to these items as they will only lead to a higher level of craftsmanship and greater job satisfaction because of the quality of work performed.
I have read, understand and agree to the terms of the attendance and availability requirements. I understand that failure to follow these requirements could result in deselection.
Non-Competition. You covenant and agree that, during the term of your
employment with the Company and for fifteen (15) months after the termination thereof,
regardless of the reason for the employment termination, you will not, directly or indirectly,
anywhere in the Territory, on behalf of any Competitive Business perform the same or
substantially the same Job Duties.
Non-Solicitation of Customers, Customer Prospects, and Vendors. You also
covenant and agree that during the term of your employment with the Company and for fifteen
(15) months after the termination thereof, regardless of the reason for the employment
termination, you will not, directly or indirectly, solicit or attempt to solicit any business from any
of the Company’s Customers, Customer Prospects, or Vendors with whom you had Material
Contact during the last two (2) years of your employment with the Company.
Non-Solicitation of Employees. You also covenant and agree that during the term
of your employment with the Company and for fifteen (15) months after the termination thereof,
regardless of the reason for the employment termination, you will not, directly or indirectly, on
your own behalf or on behalf of or in conjunction with any person or legal entity, recruit, solicit,
or induce, or attempt to recruit, solicit, or induce, any non-clerical employee of the Company
with whom you had personal contact or supervised while performing your Job Duties, to
terminate their employment relationship with the Company.
At-Will Status. You acknowledge and agree that nothing in this Agreement is a
guarantee or assurance of employment for any specific period of time. Rather, you understand
that you are an at-will employee and that the Company may terminate your employment at any
time for any reason. You are similarly free to resign at any time for any reason.
I have read, understand and agree to the terms of the non-compete clause. I understand that failure to follow these requirements could result in deselection.
We are a company that is set apart from much of the painting industry. We want interesting people who enjoy the freedom of their own thoughts throughout the day. We want people who are self-motivated and guided tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit that began our company. Many of us are artists, writers and musicians. We like these types. We think the painting business is a good fit and our customers are always interested in the things we do outside of work and in our community. We have a desire to deliver the best service imaginable within the world of color and the home. Our clients tend to be equally interesting. They are kind and take care of their homes. They want the best products and the best services available in their area. No other company in our region has the brand potential that Color Theory has. From our simple logo design to our impeccable taste for simple color design in homes, we love our company. We're proud to be painters. We enjoy the quiet and calmness of this work.
The things that set us apart build upon each other from one job to the next. When one person doesn’t do their part we all feel the effects. We have three key values that are imperative to our success as a company. The first is honesty. Be honest with the customer, with the company and with yourself. When you're honest with the customer you are giving them the product that we promised to deliver. You won't cut corners because you understand that these wonderful customers have spent the majority of their lives dreaming about owning their own home and have worked tirelessly to obtain it.
The second is to believe in the purpose. By helping the collective costumer maintain the beauty of their home we do a service to society. The broken window theory says that if a house on a block has a broken window that doesn't get fixed eventually it will lead to more broken windows and eventually that will lead to abandonment. Abandonment leads to poverty and poverty unfortunately leads to crime which is the precipice of social decay. The same thing is true for painting. Whether interior or exterior by stretching the amount of time in-between fresh coats of paint you add to the deterioration of a surface. Over time, like a disease it spreads, infecting homes and entire neighborhoods and cities. In a very small and simple way we have our hand in maintaining our society. But by small and simple things, great things come to pass.
Our third key value is to stay creative. Our goal is to provide a work atmosphere where we are encouraging of each other in our creative endeavors. Not only does it make us happy but it also makes us interesting people to be around. Our clients appreciate having artists in their home. Even if you're not an artist you can still be a hobbyist of some sort adding variety to life and building character. With painting we get to work with our hands and are free to our own thoughts, which as a creative person I find so valuable and precious.
These three key values add up to work matters. It really does. And the only thing that stands in the way of success is in deceiving ourselves. When we lie to ourselves and cover up our faults we start to lose that part of ourselves that drives us to do good work in the first place. We give up our integrity for fear of perceived consequences. Our attitude changes. We doubt what we are doing with our lives which leads to resenting the things we are doing with it. I don't want to be that kind of person. I don't want to have that kind of company. I want to be passionate within the context of my vocation instead of seeking for something to be passionate for. If you share these values. If you like the freedom of your own thoughts and the time to be who you are then join us. Be a part of the team. Be a part of Color Theory.
I hereby have read, understood and agree to the Employee Standards and Agreements articles. I understand that failure to follow these requirements could result in my deselection.