Meritocracy not mediocrity

Submitted by Abdul Seraaj & Shezan Yaseen

It is important to determine if a Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. (SFH) staff person has the ability to represent and buy into the SFH methodology, philosophy, corporate values, methods of service delivery, and treatment approach within the first 30 to 60 days of employment.

We must remember that this work and our methodology is not for everyone. It takes a lot of emotional, mental, physical, and intellectual energy to work within the SFH corporate environment. It takes lots of personal discipline and professional integrity to maintain the SFH culture of doing business. We must constantly remind ourselves that having professional freedom without accountability and personal integrity will lead to corruption. This can be seen in staff members being terminated due to poor judgment and falsification of documentation.

The implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) must be embraced and practiced throughout every SFH department, in order for the company to achieve sustainable, profitable growth. The implementing of CQI, especially by the SFH management team members, will help to keep our (foster) youth safe and allow SFH to maintain its competitive edge within the marketplace. We must implement a practice of requiring each management team member to assist with training and evaluating staff. We must link CQI to the implementation of the concept of meritocracy throughout SFH.


Meritocracy is a performance-based concept, through which rewards are based on one’s demonstrated abilities, knowledge, and talents. It is not based on your “good old boy” club connections of who you know. We must hire and promote people based on meritocracy and not on who they know or where they attended school. This concept recognizes people for their self-worth, competency, job skills, talents, work ethics, and values. It also recognizes people regardless of their race, ethnicity, and religion. If we would truly implement and practice meritocracy, we would enjoy sustainable, profitable growth and continuous quality improvements throughout SFH. The underlying principle of establishing meritocracy is implementation of the CQI concept of “encouraging what is right and forbidding what is wrong”.  No matter who or what department the wrong is practice by, CQI must forbid and correct any and all wrong practices with a sense of urgency.

We must develop a Chick-fil-A Culture as shown below:

“I love going to Chick-Fil-A! The extra money is worth the quality of services! When you’re at the drive through ordering they say, ‘We look forward to seeing you at the window!’ That’s only a few feet away! The most shocking thing is they are actually excited when you pull up!

“I have always admired the way the company keeps their faith at the forefront of their business operations, and they are successful in doing so. A while ago, I asked several people as part of a business assignment for school what day of the week they would want to eat Chick-Fil-A the most. Of course, it was Sunday – the one day they are closed, which to me translated to saying that a company that follows their mission statement with pride and dignity will be in high demand at all times!

“Seraaj [SFH] definitely needs to adapt that Chick-Fil-A mentality at all times! In a worst-case scenario, if I had to wait for 30 minutes for a sandwich at Chick-fil-A, I would be okay with doing so, because the quality is worth it. Those other companies cannot compete with Chick-fil-A!

“Quality services, 24/7 accessibility, staff with friendly and welcoming personalities, and the mission of the company being the driving force behind every move we make – those are the keys to make Seraaj [SFH] the Chick-Fil-A of Therapeutic Foster Care!

“Let those who want to work for ‘McDonalds and deliver Burger King results go on their way. At Seraaj [SFH], we should look forward to seeing our customers at the window – the window of opportunity! If you say you follow, follow through with your actions. You can’t say one thing and do another. Deliver what’s expected and reach to deliver more. It’s simple.” – Shezan Yaaseen

Abdul Seraaj


Supporter and former employee of SFH