Corporate Culture: Centennial Walks the Talk

What a recent culture audit revealed about Centennial

Centennial received the extraordinary honor of earning a 4.41 out of 5 on a recent Culture Audit – a record breaking score for the organization that performed our culture audit.

Corporate Culture Directly Impacts Your Ability to Attract and Retain Your Best People

Centennial’s leadership, Mike Sipple Sr. and Mike Sipple Jr.,  place great importance on corporate culture.  They believe a healthy corporate culture is intrinsic to organizations that attract and retain top talent.  That belief is not just shared in Centennial’s marketing, it’s lived-out inside the organization.

Lynne Ruhl, the audit expert, is delighted with Centennial’s dedication to culture. “I have never seen, nor worked with leadership that is more committed to culture as part of their strategic plan than Centennial.  They completed their first audit in 2008 and worked diligently on what needed to be addressed.  Then in 2013, they conducted their 2nd audit, and again, worked diligently on what needed to be addressed.  Now, in 2017, they were able to see the results of that level of commitment.”

What is a Culture Audit?

Mike Sr., Centennial CEO & Chairman; Mike Jr., Centennial President; and Lynne Ruhl. “Only courageous leaders have their corporate culture assessed.”

A culture audit includes three steps. The first step entails each employee completing a confidential online survey which asks questions about working for the organization. Some questions are tactical and operational in nature.  Other questions ask employees to measure how they feel when making decisions, when they are given responsibility, and when they collaborate with their colleagues. Additional questions address employee morale, strategic alignment– even how employees feel about the client delivery process.

Next, members of the audit team interview each employee to clearly identify any cultural issues.  These confidential interviews provide a safe forum for employees to articulate their views on the corporate culture.

The final step includes two parts:  the executive summary and the organizational “reveal.”  The executive team receives the audit results first. However, everything that is included in the report is read at the organizational reveal. During the organizational reveal, the audit team presents the results–both good and bad. Employees are then given an opportunity to weigh in on the report.

Ms. Ruhl made it clear to the entire Centennial team that only courageous leaders have their corporate culture assessed.  Many leaders don’t want to hear what their employees think of the work environment.  Instead, their main concern is increasing profits.  Ironically, ignoring corporate culture is working against their goal. Research has proven that there is a direct correlation between a healthy culture and healthy revenues.

What Does a Healthy Corporate Culture Look Like?

Ms. Ruhl feels strongly about cultural audits because she is passionate about cultures that encourage people to thrive and grow.  So great is her passion that she co-authored a book on the subject:  Three Impossible Promises. She believes that a highly effective environment is filled with trust and respect.  If leadership creates a culture where employees feel appreciated, they will bring all their gifts and talents to the organization. Employees do a better job when they feel valued as people. Without trust and respect, employees naturally withhold–and an organization will never know the “greatest” of its people.

As a Centennial employee, it’s incredible to hear words such as helpful, generous, thoughtful, caring, respectful, and dedicated describing the culture of our organization.  It’s not an organizational “given,” as many of us have experienced in previous workplaces.  It takes work – a lot of work.  Today was a celebration of that work. We’re thrilled with this accomplishment and wish the same for all the companies we impact.

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