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Culture and Creativity

Why Alignment in Business is Important

GL group’s focus for 2017 is alignment. That means renewing our commitment to structuring our business so everyone at GL group makes decisions that reflect our culture and our company goals. As we move into 2017, we will be pointing all of our planning and activities on making that happen.

We take a two-part approach to alignment.

First, we ensure that we align our activities with our culture. We have very defined culture and values at GL group. We have a clear set of practices for how things should be done – this is the same for our interactions with customers, vendors, and our employees. We want to make sure that our business decisions are smart and are not only good for our company and employees, but also that those decisions reflect our culture of doing the right thing. We won’t stand for any sales or business practices that don’t fit our culture.  For example, our book bindery recently turned down the opportunity to print a book because the content did not fit in with our core values and culture. We aren’t willing to put profit before our values.

The second part of our approach to alignment is making sure our people are aligned with our decisions as a company. In business, sometimes decisions are made that not every employee or co-worker understands. After all, leadership can’t explain every decision to everyone in our company before it’s made. However, we can ensure that employees have an opportunity to ask questions of our leadership. Gary Jaffe, GL group CEO, is always willing to have a discussion, hear employee opinions, and answer why.  

One way we put this into practice is our monthly “Lunch with Gary.” Once a month, Gary Jaffe invites employees to a lunch where they are encouraged to bring questions they are interested in asking. These questions range from business to personal and serve as a way for employees to get to know others within the businesses as well as key information regarding company initiatives. Anywhere from 10-15 employees attend this lunch.

After decisions are made, it is up to leadership and employees to commit to navigating the road we’ve chosen and make those decisions work.

So what does this alignment look like in practice? In order for this two-part path to work, there must be a common understanding between employees and leadership.  Employees must understand company goals and leadership must understand our employee’s goals. This starts with management. Sharing our financial statements and goals with our employees helps everyone understand where the company is headed. Spending the time, money, and effort to educate our employees and provide WOW! Benefits shows our commitment to helping our employees achieve their goals. When these two things are aligned, all of our business practices and systems fall into place.

We are consistently aligning our daily decisions with the actions we take, reflecting our culture and our bigger plan, to be the best place to work.  

AUTHOR: Mark Rygelski