10 Pillars of Organizational Excellence

Published: January 13, 2015

Collaborating fuels energy in most top workplaces. Effective teamwork is only a small part of what makes organizations excellent. Employers-of-choice make a sustained investment the health and wellness of the internal culture so that top talent seeks entry and stays forever. Take a moment to name the strengths and gaps in your organization as you consider these 10 pillars of organizational excellence:

1. Mission/Values/Vision
A clear sense of purpose and direction permeates the workplace and guides the goals of the work.

2. Open Communication
Honest and transparent exchange builds trust and provides a foundation for successful problem-solving.

3. Customer Focus
An extraordinary focus on the customer builds long-term relationships and a reason for partnership.

4. Family-like Culture
Genuine care and concern for coworkers creates a sense of community and a pitch-in spirit.

5. Sustainability
Leadership takes a long view of the business so that it can thrive in both prosperous and challenging economies.

6. Learning & Development
The organization invests in the career path of employees by customizing projects, resources, and networking opportunities aligned with their strengths and professional interests.

7. Succession Planning
Create bench strength with breadth and depth to allow future leaders to be groomed from within.

8. Teamwork
Collaboration holds teammates together, promotes new ideas, and generates fuel for innovation.

9. Wellness
Sponsor a holistic approach to healthy lifestyles, stress reduction, and work/life balance. Enjoy the return-on-investment in productivity.

10. Stewardship
Employees think and act like owners and are committed to the long-term success of the organization.

Once you’ve identified your areas of strength and vulnerability, draft an action plan to elevate assets and mitigate liabilities. Soon, you’ll be filling out applications for recognition as a “Best Place to Work.”

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst College where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.