How to Build a Company With a Culture of Stewardship

1. Why do your employees come to work every day? Defining a strong company culture starts with a mission and vision statement. More than just a series of catch phrases or the latest buzz words, the mission and vision align professionals within the firm, define a series of traits for hiring and selection, and answer this essential question.

The challenge as a CEO is to identify, develop and utilize the talents people bring to their work.  The highest integrity, humility and a positive attitude are characteristics of a business professional who views his or her work as a vocation. For those who take this view, work is not just a means to leisure and a vehicle for meeting basic needs, but rather an integrated approach that is both enriching and fulfilling. More than a career, professionals come to the workplace to realize a personal call to contribute and pull up those around them. In other words, they are stewards.

“Career paths identify the essential characteristics you need to build and develop across the organization.”

2. How do you encourage professional growth? Career paths not only identify potential opportunities for staff members to advance and grow within your firm, but also identify the essential characteristics you need to build and develop across the organization. Therefore, career pathing strategies must be developed within the broader organizational context.

Consider developing a flattened hierarchy, which allows for increased buy-in, feedback and open communication, especially by executives and management. One component of this is the establishment of internal committees. Made up of professionals at every level of an organization, these committees may be tasked with identifying opportunities for improvement, evaluating potential enhancements, and other business drivers. These committees create better decision-making processes, promote communication and empower and engage employees.

3. How do you build a cohesive unit? Superior teamwork is another key component of a strong culture. We must be familiar with the methods that create success, and we must look to be innovative in our approaches to improving them. Effective systems and processes, which offer quality, repeatability, and consistent internal and external results, are vital. Identifying each person’s strengths is essential.

There are several assessment tools available in the market to identify talents and strengths. Ensuring an employee’s fit in an organization is more than just knowing their knowledge, skills and abilities. It is about understanding their personal passions, talents and drivers. From this understanding, the most dynamic, responsive and high-performing teams are built.

4. How can giving back strengthen culture? Consider establishing a formal philanthropic mission for your organization that provides a framework around which to align employees. This mission helps employees identify the various nonprofit organizations to contribute their time to that are dedicated to your shared mission. Volunteering opportunities create cohesion among team members who are united in a common goal of serving others, a cohesion they then bring into the workplace in their day-to-day interactions with one another.

There are many things in business that we cannot control, but a strong company culture creates a collaborative group that will work together to help your company successfully navigate challenges and opportunities, and achieve successes.

 

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Richard M. Todd
Richard Todd is the CEO and co-founder of Innovest Portfolio Solutions LLC, an independent provider of investment-related consulting services in Denver. He has nearly 30 years of experience in investment consulting and currently provides consulting services to both institutions and families.

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