What is a Culture Strategy?

Culture grows, is maintained, and is passed on by stories that we tell about ourselves. Therefore, the culture strategy will hold both high-level concepts as well as plenty of narrative necessary to add depth, color, and value to the story.

Inside of our fully realized culture, each and every member of our organization clearly understands our culture, is able to consistently articulate it, and is responsible for living it as well as defending it.

Our culture strategy is designed to support our commercial objectives and is built around Core Values, which we use to drive day-to-day behavior and decision making.

Core Values

Core Values our “guideposts” or principles we use to drive our behavior and decision making to ensure we are collectively moving on the right path.

Our core values are as follow:

Values Description Explanation
Respect Show you care Everyone deserves your courteous attention, regardless of circumstances or how you feel about them.

Do everything with intention and purpose. Be clear on why whatever you’re doing matters.

Share the gift of your presence in your interactions. Put your full attention on the person or situation with which you’re engaged.

Treat sensitive matters with sensitivity.

Transparency Straight talk Go directly at the issue.

Share information with others that they need to know when they need to know it. Accept others’ rights to know information that may impact their decisions around their lives, careers and transactions.

Practice responsible communication. Ensure it is always Clear, Complete & Current. And then Confirm.

Be willing to have difficult conversations.

Resourcefulness Determined & Resourceful Play to win. Always understand what winning looks like.

Be willing to fight for the best possible outcome. Generate solutions, even when none seem possible.

Maintaining fiscal prudence applies to everyone and everything we do.

Be proactive. Anticipate issues and be prepared to address them before they arise.

Be constantly in the business of learning and growing.

Win with humility. No job is “too small” if it serves our mission.


It is important to be able to describe the active working environment at SSC so that we all operate according to the same expectations. Our historical values continue to drive how we view and act in our environment.

Following are a list of qualities and characteristics we strive for in our working environment:

Descriptors Explanations
Kaizen We improve our products and service daily.
We embrace change.
We affect solutions when we see the problem.
We empower others to engage in making a difference.
Innovation We ask “why do we do it like this” on a regular basis.
We thrive on overcoming challenges with outside-the-box thinking.
We leverage technology and human interaction.
We know there is always a better way.
Integrity We make commitments and we keep them.
We act on our values with clarity.
We offer our word consciously.
Social Responsibility We do good things for the sake of goodness.
We focus on the communities we serve.
We empower our employees to actively contribute.
We represent the best in corporate culture.
Accountability We make agreements and we keep them.
We hold ourselves responsible for our results.
We embrace being relied upon by others.
We understand our job is to serve.
Psitive work Environment We grace others with our best selves.
We contribute to postiive energy and thoughts.
We offer input on how we can make it better.
We thrive on clarity and transparency.
Team Work We all play for one team, SSS/SSC.
We encourage each other to grow and improve.
We own our role on the team.
We play to win.
Life Balance We honor family, personal growth and health.
We know that we work to live, not live to work.
We aspire to sustain a familiar environment at work.
We truly embrace a balanced existence.
Life is good.

Acceptable Behaviors

Our culture strategy lives in the quality of the interactions we experience every day our company. Applying this strategy into day-to-day usage requires that we specifically describe the behaviors we desire.

Following are a listed of behaviors we find acceptable in our working environment:

Be Respectful

  • Be an active listener, by being fully engaged in every conversation. Give the person you’re speaking to your FULL attention and look at them.
  • Take a genuine interest in the thoughts and ideas of your colleagues, clients, etc. Encourage the sharing of ideas and collaboration in every interaction.
  • Be kind and considerate in your choice of words to others. And treat everyone equally, with the same amount of courtesy and respect, regardless of job title or position held in the company.
  • Be a team player, by stepping outside of your job description and helping others that you work with if you notice that they could use some help.
  • Be aware that EVERYTHING you do matters, every interaction matters, every conversation matters.
  • Be punctual. Arrive to work on time, at your designated committed hour and be accessible during work hours. If you are committed to a meeting, arrive at that meeting on time and come prepared with something to take notes with.
  • Be focused on the needs of the customer by listening to their needs and doing your best to fulfill that need in a positive and helpful manner.

Have Fun

  • Work hard. Play hard. – During work hours, give 100% by completing your tasks/job duties that are assigned to you in the timeframe that you committed to. don’t take yourself too seriously and have a spirit of fun in your work and interactions with other people.
  • Exhibit humility in every interaction. Maintain a positive attitude and put the “logo first”. In every problem solving interaction, be focused on the best solution for the company, not jus the specific department or job you participate in.
  • Also, when speaking to another person, inside and outside of SSC, always use the term “team”. Speak on behalf as we, the group, versus you as the individual.

Be Knowledgeable

  • Continually expand your knowledge by attending trainings, webinars, reading materials that pertain to your position and industry.
  • Be flexible workforce employer by looking at each employee’s strengths and matching them with a position that allows them to succeed.

Be Positive, Supportive & Encouraging

  • Managers, Supervisors, Directors, Executive & Leaders in any capacity should give frequent and meaningful feedback to all of the employees under their wing. At least once a month, provide the employees with accolades for what they are doing well and ways to improve in other areas. This feedback does not need to be a formal one-on-one.
  • Encourage everyone you work with to be positive and have a “can do” attitude. Every individual should take responsibility to exude an attitude and spirit of positivism in their job.
  • Treat everyone authentically and genuinely by being open and honest in communication. All communication needs to be respectful. Come from a place of understanding and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes when considering your response. Be aware.
  • Be positive SSC advocate & promoter by committing 100% to the organization, its goals and strategies. Promote the personal reasons why you choose to align yourself with SSC. Be knowledgeable about the company by knowing our history and where we’re headed.
  • Make people feel significant by acknowledging every team player, every day. If you pass someone in the hallway, acknowledge their presence and greet them warmly.
  • Be appreciative and grateful for your job, for the great company we have all aligned with by exuding a spirit of positivity in every interaction.

Be Responsible

  • Take personal responsibility to make changes where you see we have room for improvement, instead of waiting for a manager, supervisor or other leader to make the change. Every person, no matter their title, needs to speak up and be proactive and solution oriented.
  • Be aware that every decision you make, no matter what position/job title you have, has a financial impact to the company. Make decisions that ensure long term success for SSC.
  • Always be aware and on the lookout for cost cutting measures, overlaps and revenue leakage.
  • Be strategic, innovative and competitive by looking for revenue opportunities & new ways to conduct business more efficiently.


  • Be clear and specific in your expectations and measurements when requesting a task be completed or a goal met. State what you want, when you want it by and any pertinent details that would assist someone in completing this task efficiently and correctly.
  • Be results driven, by setting specific metrics for goals that need to be reached and a clear, concise plan to achieve those goals.

Unacceptable Behaviors

As above, in order to bring this strategy into day-to-day usage, we need to specifically describe the behaviors that we find unacceptable. Following are a listed of behaviors we find unacceptable in our working environment:

Lack of Ownership

  • Not taking pride or ownership of your work
  • Only doing part of the job, doing the bare minimum
  • Being selfish, only thinking of your part of the job/process
  • A “not my job” attitude – passing the buck
  • Not taking ownership i.e. getting an inquiry for information you don’t know but not attempting to assist the person to get them their information (direct them to the person who can help them)
  • Finger pointing
  • Throwing co-workers or other departments under the bus instead of collaborating and fixing problems
  • Not owning your own mistakes
  • Not seeing your part in a situation or process, no acknowledgement
  • Knowing that a mistake is being made and not saying anything or doing your part to fix it.


  • Negative communication – email/phone/face to face
  • Emails with emotions instead of a complete messages in a professional manner
  • Not giving the facts
  • Not using proper salutations
  • Using unprofessional or foul language
  • Triangulation – Disparaging another individual or another department without enlisting that person or department to correct the problem, i.e. one department making negative comments about another department without any offered solutions or that department present to be a party to a solution


  • Working in silo’s, not involving co-workers or co-departments in day to day issues
  • Not speaking up when someone sees a problem that needs resolution or not consulting with others to resolve a problem / situation
  • Unwillingness to help others
  • Objectifying – separating people and/or departments
  • Not thinking of each and every individual department as part of the whole SSC family
  • “Us against them” attitude

Breaking Commitments

  • Breaking promises
  • Arriving late to meetings
  • Setting up a phone call and not being available for the call
  • Failure to meet a prescribed turn-time
  • Not providing requested information as promised
  • Not returning phone calls in a timely manner or at all
  • Setting improper expectations
  • Not following your departments time line for fulfilling a timely response


  • Passing the buck, not doing your part in the department or the process
  • Letting your co-workers down (not meeting your quota
  • Not pulling on the rope together, do not be culturally lazy
  • Luck of participation
  • Failing to contribute
  • Failure to complete the job
  • Not doing your part to complete the job or process
  • Not considering what you’re leaving behind for other departments
  • Not assisting others to see that the job gets done to completion
  • Failing to put notes in the system that parts of the job have been completed
  • No confirming follow through
  • Overlooking poor performers
  • Transferring problem employees to other departments
  • Not giving honest evaluation of poor performance and requiring improvement where needed
  • Keeping individuals employed due to relationships rather than based on performance

Negative Attitude

  • Apathy
  • Non Collaborative
  • Discouraging comments
  • Gossiping / Drama
  • Foul language
  • Disrespectful
  • Problem oriented rather than solution oriented
  • Focusing on the challenge on the task at hand rather than the result
  • Negative commentary overheard by other departments just keeps the negativity going

Crude/Abusive Language

  • Being short or condescending with a customer or co-worker
  • Telling crude jokes
  • Using unprofessional language
  • Making derogatory comments
  • Not being mindful of your surroundings
  • Treat others as you would like to be treated

Imperonalized Communication

  • Short answers without salutations
  • Negative messaging, even bad news can be delivered in a nice way
  • Spelling people’s names incorrectly
  • Not taking the time to address people properly, don’t assume female or male names
  • Avoiding personal contact, hiding behind emails
  • Not picking up the phone when you can clearly see the email chain is not resolving the situation 9suggestion: SSC create a 3 email limit, then pick up the phone)
  • Don’t cut and paste guidelines or turn-times as a response if a personal phone call would be a more effective way of communication, or personalize the message to further explain with commentary
  • Walk over to speak with co-worker or manager instead of communication by computer or phone if you are in close proximity
  • Negative/sad news should be a phone call or face to face when feasible rather than a phone call or email


  • Duplicating work
  • Multiple people working on same problem but not communicating with all that someone took ownership to solve, use notes in system and copy all on resolution
  • Deceitfulness: Speaking or acting in two different ways n the same matter to different people (double dealing)


  • Not saying “hello” or “goodbye”, not acknowledging you co-workers or customers
  • Hostile, disrespectful mannerisms, i.e. rolling eyes, crossing arms, sneering, etc.
  • Talking about people behind their backs


  • Attitude of “I’m owed this because…”
  • Expectations of favorable behavior because of tenure or relationsihp
  • Name dropping
  • Using term, “I’m too busy”

Closed Mindedness

  • Indifference
  • Not accepting or providing suggestions from co-workers, customers
  • “It has always been done this way”
  • “It’s my way or the highway”
  • Disregarding suggestions
  • Resistant to change or improvement


  • Not asking for help
  • Thinking you can do it all – then missing deadlines or complaining how hard it is
  • Setting the benchmark for unrealistic expectations due to one person taking too much on
  • Belief that “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”
  • Not believing in your team or co-workers
  • Expecting sympathy for taking on too much work alone
  • The “Eeyore” syndrome