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Seven Hallmarks of a Great Self-Storage Workplace: Keeping Within the Business Mission

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Rules and Policies

Reasonable, understandable and uniformly enforced work rules are the final piece to the puzzle.  Great workplaces have rules and policies that are reasonable, understandable and, perhaps most important, fairly and uniformly enforced. For example, if smoking is prohibited in the work environment, that means no one smokes, not even the CEO. The rules and policies at great workplaces are neither capricious nor arbitrary. They are not written in language so arcane that anyone but a senior tax attorney can comprehend.

Ideally, they are not written to prevent employees from doing something, but rather to set appropriate standards whereby all employees are assured the opportunity to maximize their potential. In short, great workplaces embrace rules and policies that reflect the core values of the workplace as well as the expectations of the employees and customers in a fair and logical manner.

A Blend of Tradition and Innovation

While great workplaces are environments where employees devote a significant amount of time to improving current products and services as well as creating new ones, they are also places where tradition and continuity are highly valued. Longstanding products and services are not whimsically eliminated to the detriment of loyal customers. Rather, they’re continually improved as circumstances dictate to the benefit of all concerned.

At great workplaces, all are aware and proud of their company's origins and heritage, growth and evolution, positive reputation in the community, quality products and services, mission for the present, and vision for the future.

Open Communication

Great workplaces have regular, honest communication between everyone involved in the long-term success of the company. Staff and customers are kept informed and encouraged to participate in the company mission, vision, policies and procedures as well as any significant changes under consideration. In other words, they’re given adequate opportunity to convey their ideas and suggestions to company leadership.

Managers at great workplaces are unwavering in their commitment to management by walking around, because they know this time-tested practice promotes open communication and minimizes potential problems. Great workplaces typically have company newsletters, both electronic and print, that regularly and effectively communicate the various opportunities available to staff and customers in an accurate and timely manner.

Fiscal Responsibility

Last, but certainly not least, great workplaces are fiscally prudent in the manner they operate. They have detailed, multi-year business plans that feature accurate income and expense projections, conservative cash-flow estimates, sufficient funding for research, development, infrastructure maintenance, renovation and expansion, and realistic cash-flow projections.

In addition, great businesses rigorously monitor and adjust their financial plans on a regular basis as circumstances dictate. They know exactly how much money will be required to provide the quality products and services their customers want and expect the specific costs associated with them. The long-term financial well-being of the workplace remains a high priority in the minds of all concerned.

A great workplace employs happy, productive and talented people who perform meaningful work compatible with the mission, vision and financial goals of the company. It takes constant effort and vigilance to be a truly great workplace, but the end result is well worth it.

Norm Spitzig is principal at Master Club Advisors, an executive placement firm for the private club industry. He’s a speaker and author of Perspectives on Club Management and Private Clubs in America and Around the World. For more information, call 352.735.5693; e-mail; visit

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