Questions are the Strategic Runway Towards A Great Business (Segment V)

Preface: An A+ culture pillars successful organizations, businesses, and communities, and is the main reason that lights people with a passion working with an enterprise.

Questions are the Strategic Runway Towards A Great Business  (Segment V)

Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA

Many companies take culture far too lightly. Perhaps some think it’s a trait that will simply sort itself out given enough time. Others build a kind of surrogate for culture by populating their break rooms and common areas with pool tables, pop culture tchotchkes and focus-grouped slogans.

Leaders are the key to shaping company culture — and even the culture beyond their walls……Has the company stood by these words? History often repeats itself, but it doesn’t have to. In shaping company culture, leaders must build a tightly woven collection of ideals, values, and goals — and ideally, it should be strong enough, and pro-social enough, to long outlast them.

To put it another way, “the true meaning of life” — or leadership, in our case — “is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Those words are attributable to William Craig from his article, How Leaders Shape Company Culture. William specializes in writing about the secret of company culture in entrepreneurial success.

Yes, culture matters. In the business community, culture continues to matter. Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs is quoted in the article The Value of Corporate Culture as saying, “Culture was always a vital part of [the company’s] success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and still doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn client trust for 143 years”. 

He continued to say that he was saddened to see that the highly-respected culture of the organizations legacy had virtually disappeared with no traces remaining. Not surprising, even the most exceptional business cultures can be lost from the slow erosions formed along with the pursuit of “pouring-profits.” 

An A+ culture pillars successful organizations, businesses, and communities, and is the main reason that lights people with a passion or loyalty and excellence working with an enterprise. Think of a few successful enterprises in your sphere of contact, and then examine the culture. It’s there. Clear to the minds eye, strong and vibrant. 

Exemplify and build your business’s unique culture at every turn, every decision, and in every communication. Appreciate, develop and protect it – that is the heart of true business leadership. Endeavoring to walk the talk for long-term success requires keeping your focus on more than the money. You will likely need a strongly yoked leadership team to achieve the ideal culture. Secondly, evaluate if your enterprise cultures head and heart are above or below the clouds?  

Whether a journeyman in business, or a businessman, now ask yourself the following business self-assessment questions, for the Communications | Human Resources | Employees If you answer any question “NO,” then follow-up and ask yourself – “WHY NOT”? Document your answers, concisely. Answering “NO” isn’t necessarily wrong, but you should have clear answers to the “Why Nots.”

Communications | Human Resources | Employees 

  1. Does your business have a visible culture?
  2. Does your business have regular team training?
  3. Does your team at all levels communicate effectively daily?
  4. Does your business have an organizational chart or team accountability chart?
  5. Does your business resolve internal conflicts successfully, and work proactively to mitigate them from occurring? 
  6. Does your business have an effective process for all business meetings?
  7. Does your business work to create opportunities for personal purpose and satisfaction for the team as a thank you for the daily services to further the organization’s mission?
  8. Does your business communicate regularly to employees their specific purpose for being employed with the company?
  9. Does your business have an employee handbook?
  10. Does your business have an adequate and written paid time off policy?
  11. Would your team say your business culture has appropriate accountability?
  12. Does your management team listen to employees and ask questions to build better team relationships?
  13. Does your business have employee performance evaluation meetings?
  14. Does your business have any annual celebrations?
  15. Does your business have clear job titles for each department?
  16. Are your employees encouraged towards and rewarded for excellence?
  17. Does your business only hire employees who are the best-qualified candidates for the position? 
  18. Does your business have clearly defined job roles?
  19. Are clearly defined performance expectations set upfront when onboarding new staff?
  20. Do your employees know your business’s purpose?
  21. Does your business have an employee feedback process?
  22. Does your business a written onboarding plan for each department position?
  23. Does your business have written compensation plans?
  24. Does your business have an employee benefits plan?
  25. Does your business have a company retirement plan?
  26. Does your business have written processes for HR, operations, marketing, sales, and accounting?
  27. Has your team heard a heart-felt “Thank you” from you this week?

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