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The Single, Most Successful Business Strategy

 

Case Studies - Leslie Caccamese - July 18, 2013

The Single, Most Successful Business Strategy

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Ryan LLC, Culture Impact Brief

“I went from a guy, that thought this list was nothing more than a contest for the trophy case, and from that humble beginning, I have realized that being a great place to work is the single most successful business strategy that exists. ~Brint Ryan, Chairman and CEO, Ryan LLC

HOW PARTICIPATION IN A BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR LIST DROVE TOTAL WORKPLACE CULTURE TRANSFORMATION AT RYAN LLC

In 2005, highly-competitive Ryan LLC decided to participate in one of Great Place to Work’s Best Companies to Work For list competitions. Ryan’s results, coupled with the tenacity of their Chief of Staff and the evolution of their CEO, would set the course to transform their workplace culture.

TRUST INDEX® SURVEY IMPROVEMENT OVER TIME

Trust Index® Survey Statement 2005 2012   % Change  
Management recognizes honest mistakes as a part of doing business. 68% 85% +17%
Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment. 62% 82% +20%
This is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work. 56% 84% +28%
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life. 42% 90% +48%
Managers avoid playing favorites. 56% 79% +23%
People look forward to coming to work here. 58% 85% +27%
This is a fun place to work. 57% 79% +22%
I feel good about the way we contribute to the community. 55% 94% +39%
I want to work here for a long time. 56% 87% +31%
Taking everything into account, I would say this is a great place to work. 67% 92% +25%

 

Brint Ryan founded tax firm, Ryan LLC, on the same principles that had made him personally successful: dogged determination and hard work. Within a handful of years of its founding in 1991, Ryan had developed into one of the most productive and profitable firms in its space, rapidly becoming the world’s largest tax firm that was not also an accounting firm, and expanding to 67 locations worldwide. However, meteoric growth and awards from national business organizations, camouflaged the condition of Ryan’s workplace culture, and despite a full trophy case, one award still eluded them: Great Place to Work’s Best Small & Medium Workplaces in America.

Despite Ryan’s seemingly easy success raking in accolades, the quest for Great Place to Work’s Best Companies status proved taxing. After three years of unsuccessful attempts at the list starting in 2005, Ryan buckled down to actually address the Trust Index Survey results, and in doing so, drive a fundamental culture shift and astonishing advancements in Trust Index Survey Scores. This article explores some of Ryan’s survey results along with the actions taken to transform their workplace culture, and in the process, achieve even greater success around key business metrics than imagined possible.

Leslie Caccamese