Our Company Goal

" Our goal is to strengthen the employees, their families, and the company by promoting excellence in character."

Statement of Purpose

Cornerstone Surveying & Engineering, Inc. provides multi-disciplined services to the public and private sectors.

In order to effectively serve our employees and clients, Cornerstone is committed to:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles,

Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies which build character, strengthen individuals, and nurture families,

Producing a high quality, marketable service at a fair price in order to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ, share the Lord’s blessings with our employees, and provide a return on investment.

We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Cornerstone has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.

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Why Character Is More

Important Than Achievement

Character Motivates Achievement

Character determines performance. When our employees demonstrate the character qualities essential for success, we will be successful. Improved efficiency, enhanced effectiveness, higher morale, and greater accomplishments will flow from internalized standards of attitude and behavior.

Character Builds Relationships

Positive character qualities enhance teamwork on the job, strengthen harmony in the family, and build trust into relationships.

Negative attitudes, on the other hand, break down relationships resulting in tensions from anger, disrespect, disloyalty, dishonesty, and lack of initiative. These adverse dispositions have a direct impact on our effectiveness and tend to break down relationships at work and in the home.

Character Increases Health

An individual’s character determines his actions and attitudes, which may be reflected in his overall health.

For example, positive attitudes that are displayed in friendly smiles, cheerful works and sincere praise are like medicine that builds the immune system and decreases disease.

In addition, injuries or illnesses resulting from inappropriate behavior cause hardship for the employee, his family, and the corporation.


Character Reduces Injuries

Employees who exhibit character qualities such as Attentiveness, Obedience, and Alertness are less prove to injure themselves or others.


Character Training is Required

An employer is legally and morally responsible for the safety of his employees. Lack of self-control, carelessness, and immorality in one employee can effect others by subjecting them to violent outbursts, avoidable accidents, and sexual harassment stemming from wrong attitudes and the resulting wrong behavior.

Character training is an effort to correct the wrong attitudes behind these actions.


Building Character is Wise Business

Therefore, it is the policy of Cornerstone to base hiring, advancement, and termination on the demonstration of character qualities above job achievement.

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How "Hiring Negligence Laws"

Require Character Emphasis

In South Carolina there are now laws under which an employer is held liable for the actions of one employee toward another.

If for example, an employee exhibits outbursts of anger, and the employee does not take steps to help him overcome is anger or to remove him, the employer will be held liable for any damage which occurs to any other employee as a result of the outbursts of this employee.

The same liability occurs when an employee lacks self-control and engages in sexual harassment of another employee.

Under the negligent hiring doctrine, an employer can be held directly liable for his failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of his employees. In addition, an employer can be held liable for negligent retention when he retains employees that are dangerous to other employees or third parties. Because of the similarity between the two doctrines, they will be considered together.

The rules of negligent hiring and retention are stated in 30 CORPUS JURIS SECUNDUM Employer-Employee §§ 186, 188:

An employer may be liable to a third person proximately resulting from incompetence or unfitness of his employee, where he was negligent in selecting an incompetent or unfit employee (§ 186).

Retaining in employment an employee who is or should be known to be incompetent, habitually negligent, or otherwise unfit, is such negligence on the part of the employer as will render him liable for injuries caused to third parties for the incompetent or otherwise improper actions of the employee (§ 188).

RESTATEMENT OF AGENCY 2D § 505 discusses the duty of an employer… to maintain safe working conditions for employees… and states that following rule:

The employer has a non-delegable duty of care to select, and to retain in his employ, only employees from whose conduct this is not an unreasonable risk of harm to other employees… The risk of harm to other employees from an employee’s conduct may be because he is careless, given to drunkenness, mentally incompetent, inexperienced, physically unable to do the work, bad tempered, or unable to communicate with others…

The Supreme Court of Kansas well articulated the doctrine of negligent hiring and/or retention in Plains Resources, Inc. v. Gable, 682 P.2d 653 (Kan. 1984). The court stated:

The negligent hiring and/or retention doctrine recognizes that an employer has a duty to use reasonable care in the selection and retention of employees. This duty requires that an employer hire and retain only safe and competent employees. An employer breaches this duty when it hires or retains employees that it knows or should know are incompetent.

In Foster v. Loft, Inc., 526 N.E.2d 1309 (Mass. App. Ct. 1988), the Massachusetts Appellate Court defined negligent retention in this manner:

Negligent retention…occurs when, during the course of employment, the employer becomes aware or should have become aware of problems with an employee that indicated his unfitness, and the employer fails to take further action such as investigation, discharge, or reassignment.

In Giles v. Shell Oil Corp., 487 A.2d 610 (D.C. App. Ct. 1985), The Appellate Court for the District of Columbia, in analyzing the doctrine of negligent retention held the following:

To invoke this theory of liability, it is incumbent upon a party to show that an employer knew or should have know its employee behaved in a dangerous or otherwise incompetent manner, and that the employer, armed with that actual or constructive knowledge, failed to adequately supervise the employee.

Illinois courts have followed the same rule. In Sunseri v. Puccia, 422 N.E.2d 925 (Ill. App. Ct. 1981), the Court of Appeals for Illinois held:

An employer is liable for the intentional torts of an employee which are not unexpectable in view of the latter’s duties… [A]n employer may be liable under ordinary negligence principles for breach of duty to prevent an employee of others from physically harming their patrons on the employer’s premises when the employer knows or should have known that control over the employee is necessary and the ability to control exists.

From the above stated material, it is clear that employers need to "adequately supervise" and maintain competent employees and thus avoid liability for their conduct.

When an employer endeavors to train his employees in various character qualities, he is attempting to effectively control (supervise) the conduct of his employees. Such control is necessary in order for an employer to maintain a safe and secure workplace and to avoid potentially detrimental liability for the harmful acts of his employees.

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Essential Character Qualities

The following twelve character qualities are viewed as essential for employment with Cornerstone.

Alertness v. Unawareness
Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.

Creativity v. Underachievement
Approaching a need, as task, or an idea from a new perspective.

Determination v. Faintheartedness
Purposing to accomplish the goals I am given in the allotted time regardless of the opposition.

Discretion v. Simple-mindedness
The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences.

Flexibility v. Resistance
Not becoming attached to ideas or plans which could be changed by my authority.

Initiative v. Unresponsiveness
Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.

Obedience v. Willfulness
Cheerfully carrying out the directions and wishes of those who are responsible for me.

Orderliness v. Disorganization
Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve the greatest efficiency.

Punctuality v. Tardiness
Being ready to begin each task at the appointed time.

Responsibility v. Unreliability
Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.

Thoroughness v. Incompleteness
Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.

Truthfulness v. Deception
Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.

Copyright 1994 by Character Training Institute. Used by permission.

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Summary on Character Emphasis

An individual’s character determines his ability to contribute positively to the efforts of other employees within the workplace.

The physical safety of the employees is affected by the character of each individual employee.

The quality of a corporation’s products and services are greatly influenced by the character of its employees.

Productivity is affected by the character of each employee.

Character determines the impact of employees on suppliers and clients.

The most accurate predictor of the future actions of an employee is his character.

Consequently, Cornerstone is committed to an ongoing program of character training.

 Resources are available to employees and their families for this purpose.

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Company Policies to
Build Character Qualities


1 Selection of New Employees

Each applicant will be evaluated by the character qualities required to accomplish tasks associated with specific employment opportunities. All employees will be required to demonstrate positive character qualities. All new employment is conditional based on (1) a 90-day probationary period, and (2) a background check.

2 Advancement of Employees

Because Cornerstone is committed to the development and application of character, and because character affects the productivity of employees and the response of clients and suppliers, the character of the employee will be the primary determining factor in pay raises, promotions, and advancements.

3 Character Training

Cornerstone will provide training for all employees in the development of specific character qualities. The purpose of this training is to enable employees to fulfill responsibilities on the job and at home.

4 Corporate Functions

Because strong families are the foundation of our nation, Cornerstone-sponsored functions will include spouses and family members whenever possible.

5 Alcoholic Beverages

All consumption of alcohol is discouraged. Employees are prohibited from consuming alcohol at any Cornerstone function and from purchasing alcohol or drugs w/ corporate funds.

6 A Safe, Wholesome Workplace

Cornerstone recognizes the importance of providing a safe, wholesome work environment for all employees and visitors, where every person feels welcomed, valued, and protected. Therefore:

Pornographic pictures or pictures of immodestly clothed individuals are not allowed.

Profanity and off-color language are not necessary for communication. This type of language is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Melodious background music will be provided where appropriate. Individual radios, televisions, and other entertainment devices are prohibited unless specifically approved by management.

Every effort will be made to insure the safety of employees while on corporate property.

7 Sexual Harassment

Cornerstone employees are expected to show genuine respect and kindness to each other. We want to guard against inappropriate comments, unwise jesting, improper actions, or indiscreet situations that could be misunderstood by others.

Any suspected sexual harassment should be reported to a supervisor or a corporate office for investigation and appropriate action.

8 Humor and Folly

Humor is an effective way to relieve stress in the work place, and to break the tension associated with difficult situations. Good-natured humor is acceptable in the workplace, but is only appropriate at certain times and under certain circumstances. Humor is not offensive to others.

Folly involves mocking, jesting, teasing, and pranks. Folly is usually an attempt to get laughter at the expense of the self-esteem of another person, such as imitating a speech impediment. The wisest man who ever lived warned, "Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking!’"

(Proverbs 26:18 & 19)

Therefore, folly is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Let the golden rule be your guide…..

"Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you."

9 Personal Appearance

Cornerstone employees are expected to maintain the highest standards in dress and personal grooming in order to demonstrate the character qualities of neatness, self-esteem, modesty, cleanliness, discretion, and deference.

Attire and accessories should be chosen on the basis of appropriateness, safety, and to insure that a positive, non-offensive image is communicated to our clients and business associates.

10 Drug & Alcohol Screening

The use and consumption of drugs or alcohol by employees detrimentally affects a wide range of areas, from their personal job performance and the safety of their coworkers to general productivity, morale, and efficiency.

In order to maintain a safe working environment, insure quality workmanship, promote maximum productivity, and preserve Cornerstone's reputation, a comprehensive alcohol and drug screening program has been established.

Every applicant who has received a conditional offer of employment must pass a drug and alcohol test administered by an appropriately certifies facility selected by Cornerstone. Any applicant who fails to pass is automatically disqualified.

Any employee involved in an accident or altercation on the premises of this corporation or while performing a job for Cornerstone will be required to take an alcohol and drug test within 24 hours of the incident. Failure to pass is grounds for dismissal.

Cornerstone reserves the right to perform substance screening under various other circumstances. Failure to pass the test is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

11 Tobacco Products

Medical research confirms that smoking, smokeless tobacco, and secondhand smoke are harmful to those exposed to it. Tobacco smoke has also been found to be harmful to equipment, especially electronic equipment such as computers.

Therefore, Cornerstone encourages all employees to abstain from the use of all tobacco products. All office areas, buildings, corporate vehicles, and within a 50-foot radius of any Cornerstone equipment are designated non-smoking and tobacco free areas.

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Recognition Certificates

Cornerstone employees will be publicly recognized on their anniversary with the company for one or more character qualities they have demonstrated during the previous year.

Supervisors will identify the qualities to be recognized and give examples of how these qualities were demonstrated. This information will be summarized on a "Certificate of Recognition" which can serve as a character reference for the employee.


This corporation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate unlawfully on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, or disability.


Copyright© 1998
Character First!®
Character First!
Permission Granted to Reproduce only
for employees of Cornerstone Surveying & Engineering, Inc.