Work or Boot Camp?

By Chaise Perez


In order to understand what their customers go through, the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) came up with boot camp that is a requirement for all their employees. USAA serves mainly military personnel and their families, providing insurance, mutual funds, and other banking services.


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Organizational Culture

USAA has many standards that they hold their employees to.  These include keeping their membership and mission first, live their core values, be authentic and build trust, create conditions for people to succeed, purposefully include diverse perspectives for superior results, and finally innovate and build for the future.  Keeping their membership and mission first I believe is definitely the most important thing that USAA can pride themselves on. In keeping their mission first, they must protect enterprise performance, brand and reputation above their personal, and unit or CoSA goals and also prioritize and make smart trade. Employees also must be versatile learners so that they can proactively deal with membership’s changing needs.

The USAA standards matches up with fits with all of the perspectives of ethical decision making. The USAA standards fits because each of the standards follow the definitions of the organizational ethics perspectives in ethical decision making. For example, foundational matches up with the USAA standards because foundational organizational ethics have an explicit code of conduct that must be followed. In order to become an employee at USAA, you must go through explicit training and you must follow every standard that they hold you to.

The training of the employees, which many are actually former soldiers, is an intense 10-week long boot camp that was designed just for them. It greatly resembles a training camp that U.S. soldiers go through. They do many of the same physical aspects, these all include the heavy uniforms, the prepackaged meals, and strict commands. The purpose of this training camp is to help USAA’s employees understand what their customers go through on an everyday basis. It allows them to become more empathetic when handling customers and issues they may be having with the company. I believe this absolutely a remarkable thing for USAA to do. It is definitely not something you hear about every day.

Critical Analysis

For this analysis, I have chosen to create a code of ethics for the place of my current employment, Ashland University’s Public Relations office, which is also in charge of Ashland’s News Center. I decided to go with only four ethical standards for the office, which include all of the following:

  1. Making sure what is being sent out is all correct: Employees working in office that are sending out press releases and news letters must have 100% correct information. In order to make sure this happens, employees must contact anyone who is involved and ask them questions involving the release. Employees must also check with other sources and other employees to make sure everything looks okay and is correct before it can be released.
  2. People outside the office must be treated with the highest amount of respect: Employees will make mistakes, it does happen. If someone complains, employees are required to respectfully talk to the person and try to solve the problem. For example, if there is a misspelling in a name in a release sent out, and a student notices and decides to take action on it, in not the nicest way. For example, if there is a misspelling in a name in a release sent out, a student finds it and takes action; however, it is not done in the nicest manner, our employees must still treat them with the upmost respect.
  3. Make sure employees’ needs are met: In order to have a good work environment, the employees must be in good health, physical and mental. The employees should not have an overwhelming work schedule, especially students. For this to happen, students and employees should have a limited amount of hours allow to work a week. This also fills their needs of break and plenty of time for other activities such as homework, family, class, sports, etc.
  4. Have a great work environment: Everyone in the office should respect each other and have good communication skills. In the office, it is a very relaxed atmosphere and we would like to keep it that way. If any problems are to occur, talk Steve Hannan, the man who runs the Public Relations office, or talk to the person directly.  Everything should be resolved within a day or two. Keep up the positive attitudes and smiling faces.

Four organizational ethics perspectives in ethical decision making that go along with the standards I have made for this company are foundational, situational, rights/justice-based, and relationship based. I chose these four because I believe they each go with the individual standards that I had created. These ethical standards are crucial because I believe these could work because it is all about the customer or person that employees and companies are trying to please and make sure they are fully satisfied.



McGregor, J. (2012). Employee Innovator: USAA. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from

Fleurke, B. X. (n.d.). Menu. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from

Innovation, N. R. (n.d.). Culture at USAA | USAA Career Centers. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from


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