Becoming a Best Place to Work

An Action Plan for Leadership

Best Places to Work are the result of a strong business culture. Culture has been a key thought leadership topic over the last few years, driven by changes in the workforce (and of course COVID-19):

  • 5 generations are working together with different needs, desires, expectations and rules of engagement
  • COVID-19 made the adoption of remote work a necessity vs an option, resulting in a shift in people’s desires: work-life integration vs work-like balance
  • People will not stay where they do not feel valued and respected

Defined by Merriam Webster as: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization; the characteristic features of everyday existence, culture is the most critical component to business success. It may also be the most undervalued and underrepresented area of a business. Because cultures will develop on their own, and if left alone, may produce unintended and undesirable outcomes.

Becoming a Best Place to Work series kicks off June 20, 2023

Scrappy Culture Program Header with Keith Wilson quote: "Culture is a big, overwhelming word for most small business leaders, causing many to ignore it. Ignoring it will be your downfall." lists the 7 functions a leader needs to perform:

  1. Setting goals
  2. Organising
  3. Taking initiatives
  4. Facilitating cooperation among employees
  5. Motivating and directing
  6. Acting as a liaison between workers and management
  7. Making policy 

Successful leadership in lean businesses demands determination and resourcefulness (aka scrappiness). Lean businesses have leadership and management teams, who are wearing multiple hats and are busy handling the day-to-day. There tends to be precious little time – and energy – to consider the medium-to-longer term.

Becoming a Best Place to Work: An Action Plan for Leadership, formerly and affectionately known as “Scrappy Culture”, was designed for these lean businesses, to give them straightforward tools and processes for immediate AND long-term business results.

Because we all have a business culture. The question is whether it is making us or breaking us.

About the program

Becoming a Best Place to Work is built for resource-constrained companies who value the impact a great culture delivers, including:

  • Effective communication at and between all levels of the organization
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Greater employee retention
  • Tangible cost-savings

Take a simple assessment (below) to help identify and prioritize focus areas, where you will be able to incorporate culture-building elements over time.

Who Should Participate

We came to Scrappy Culture as a team because it would have been difficult for one person to carry the message and learnings to the whole organization. It also helped to be able to brainstorm with the team about how to implement things for it to be successful. The implementation of Scrappy Culture brought a great level of cohesiveness to our leadership team


We - and Michael Ansari, CEO Axis Interior Systems, who completed the program in 2022 (at left) - recommend that business owners attend with their leadership / management team. 

Culture is cross-functional, so a cross-functional understanding and adoption of culture initiatives will greatly improve outcomes.

Program Format

Becoming a Best Place to Work is made up of 6 in-person sessions, held from 8 a.m. - noon, every 4 weeks at the Goering Center.

Enroll in the full six-session series for the most favorable pricing, or bundle required Session 1 – Values & Purpose – with your choice of a second session to get you started. Add sessions after that as you have the capacity to take on more.

Take the Assessment and/or review the session descriptions below to identify which sessions may be best suited for your organization.

  1. Values & Purpose: 
    Most leaders know that the foundation of organizational success begins with clarifying their purpose and values. Unfortunately, after investing countless hours refining them, most organizations hang them on the wall and forget they exist. In this session, you'll learn simple ways to “brand” your values & purpose, to ensure they’re authentic, and to identify the many opportunities you have to consistently leverage them in everyday business, meetings, and decision-making.

  2. Hiring & Onboarding: 
    There is NO more effective way of building a healthy organizational culture than by getting the right people in the door in the first place. A good hire, somebody who not only has the skills to perform in their role, but also fits your culture, will make a positive impact beyond themselves, into their team, and throughout the whole organization. This session will guide you to find the BEST people that fit your organization now and into the future…AND ensure their first few months on the team set everyone up for long-term success.

  3. Employee Engagement: 
    While ping-pong tables and gourmet coffee MIGHT encourage your team to enjoy their job, getting them truly engaged isn't that easy. This session will cut through all the trendy ideas that promise to engage your team and help you define the core necessities of an engaged and inspired workforce that works for you. With consistent effort, you'll discover ways to develop, assess, and track the most critical elements needed to create a work environment where people love to work AND achieve great results.

  4. Employee Development & Performance: 
    People enjoy making progress, and they find meaning when there is purpose to the steps on their journey. Helping your employees discover their core motivation, leverage their unique abilities, and design clear steps to be successful will pay dividends in the future. This session will give you the right tools to ensure each employee finds value and long-term purpose in their work.

  5. Rewards & Recognition: 
    Believe it or not, your people are motivated by more than just money. In fact, creating specific ways to drive your core values throughout the company by recognizing the right employee behavior is immensely more effective than handing out cash. This session will empower you to discover simple but powerful ways you can encourage employees to live out your values WHILE inspiring them to work harder and deepen their loyalty to your organization.

  6. Customer Experience & Engagement: 
    Culture isn't just an internal factor. It impacts every customer or client interaction your team will have. When you've lined up all the previous elements of a Scrappy Culture, the RIGHT customers will start lining up to do business with you. This session will help you connect your internal culture to the external customer and give them an experience that will bring them back time and again.

Dates and Times

Sessions will run every 4 weeks
6/20, 7/18, 8/22, 9/19, 10/17 and 11/14 - on 9/14 there will be a REPEAT of baseline session 1 for those who are unable to attend on 6/20
Session Times: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Continental Breakfast offered 7:30 a.m.)
Location: Goering Center, Classroom 359

Program Notes

  • Session 1 - Values & Purpose - sets the basis for the entire program and is mandatory for all participants. 
  • We recommend coming as a leadership/management team for maximum impact.
  • 2-session bundles are available for purchase to include session 1 and one other. Additional sessions may be added as desired.

Pricing Information

Complete Program Pricing (6 sessions)
Member: Individual participant - $1,499.00
 Individual participant - $2,499.00

Member: Team of Three - $3,999.00
Non-Member: Team of Three - $4,999.00

Two-Session Bundle Pricing (Session 1 + one additional) - Individuals Only
Member: Individual participant - $599.00
Non-Member: Individual participant - $699.00

Additional sessions are individually priced as follows:

Member: $399.00
Non-Member: $499.00

Headshot of Jill Canady

Jill Canady

Organizational Consultant & Culture Training Director, ScrogginsGrear

Jill Candy is a veteran educator, speaker and author who helps people work well together to achieve outstanding business results. She wants to see a world where effective communication stamps out destructive conflict.

Headshot of Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson

Organizational Development Consultant, ScrogginsGrear

Keith helps build healthy, engaging, and productive teams. He is passionate about helping teams discover new ways to leverage their unique strengths, build a positive workplace culture, and collaborative plan for growth.

Questions or concerns? Contact Jim Bax, Program Director, at 513-556-7403 or

ScrogginsGrear logo

Scrappy Culture for Growing Businesses is designed and presented in partnership with: