Your assessment and choice of the workplace and/or the organisation you associate with will impact the chances of your eventual success in a significant manner.
As we all know – an organisation is a group of people who come together voluntarily to pursue a common goal, have a hierarchy and follow a set of rules. Today, in this post I shall focus upon business organizations only – these could be trading, manufacturing, or service organizations from any domain or vertical of the industry. The central theme of today’s post is to discuss the factors that make an organization a great business organization – to do business with, to join as an employee, to associate as a partner/director, or to collaborate in any other manner, whatsoever.
This has been a contemporary topic and a lot of published information is already available from secondary sources. The internet is also inundated with such articles. Most importantly, we all know about the existence of a Global Authority – Great Place to Work® engaged in creating, sustaining, and recognizing High-Trust, High-Performance Culture™ at workplaces. Every year, this institution is partnering with more than 10,000 organizations across 60 countries and helping them build a great work culture for their employees.
A great business organisation will strive to build cross-functional teams that work together to design the right people practices. Such an organization will promote the concept of a diverse and inclusive workplace and build a high-trust, high-performance culture. It goes without saying that working at such a company will provide you with unparalleled opportunities.
Leaving aside the in-depth theoretical analysis of a great place to work, I am trying here to build a framework that can be used by all young students aspiring for a new job, young executives aspiring for a better company/job profile, senior professionals, and entrepreneurs who look forward to create suitable forward linkages with great organizations in their larger business/professional interest.
YOUR CHECKLIST IS HERE:
THIS IS THE LENS THROUGH WHICH YOU CAN EVALUATE COMPANIES WITH WHOM YOU WANT TO ESTABLISH A PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP. IN FACT, DURING YOUR INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS WITH YOUR PROSPECTIVE COMPANY, YOU CAN RAISE SEVERAL QUESTIONS FROM THE FOLLOWING LIST TO ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE COLLECTED ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION RELEVANT TO YOUR SITUATION.
- Read about the company and the business group to which it belongs, about the founders, whole-time directors, and senior management members of the company. Check the track record of the company – how it has performed during the last 5 to 10 years?
- What is their operating philosophy, value system, ethical core? What kind of respect do these people command among their customers, employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders including society and the Government?
- How are the corporate management and corporate governance practices at the company? You can glance through few annual reports of the company – particularly the Director’s Report and Auditor’s Report to know the truth. Learn about ethical practices and CSR initiatives of the company.
- A careful examination of the annual report of the company may give you a lot of idea about the future programs, projects, and investments of the company. It will tell you about growth prospects, portfolio planning, upcoming collaborations, and much more.
- Assess the leadership potential in the top management. How do people in the senior management take care of executives and supervisors in the middle and lower management levels? Do they build leadership pipelines to develop and train future leaders from within the organization?
- It may be worthwhile to check the important financial parameters and ratios from the balance sheet of the company to understand the liquidity and financial position of the company.
- You must look for Sales Volume, Sales Value, EBIDTA/Sales Ratio, Cost of Production, Net Profit, and Cash Flows in particular. Other important parameters and ratios where you can focus your attention are the Current Ratio, Debt/Equity Ratio, Break-Even Point, NPV, IRR, and others.
- Besides financials – also look for the other perspectives like learning and growth opportunities, internal business processes, and customer-centric initiatives of the company. These three perspectives along with financials as mentioned earlier will give you a complete idea about the performance of the company.
- Is the company regular in complying with the requirements of various statutory and regulatory authorities? Also, try to find out about the pending litigations against the company and legal suits initiated by the company. You may have to exercise special care and find such information tactfully.
- Are HR practices in the company conducive to the growth and development of employees? How does HR contribute to developing a learning culture in the organization? Does the company have an effective Knowledge Management System (KMS) in place?
An exhaustive exercise like the one presented above may not be necessary in every case. You may expand or contract the scope of this exercise depending upon your specific requirement.
If you are a young person wishing to join a company as a trainee or junior employee, your concerns will be different as compared to a person joining at a senior position with fat salary and larger responsibilities. Both of you will have to deploy different lenses to do the analysis. Likewise, an entrepreneur will have a different perspective on this analysis.
However, one thing is important irrespective of the fact that who is doing the analysis: It must be doubly ensured that the company we are going to associate with is fair and honest to all its stakeholders and further that the company operates from an ethical core.