Top to Bottom: The Challenge of Organizational Clarity

Matching services delivered with services promised

Top to Bottom: The Challenge of Organizational Clarity

Maintaining organizational clarity from senior management to the operative level is necessary to ensure consistent service delivery, although it is a challenge many building service contractors (BSCs) face daily.

Simply put, the customer’s experience with your service delivery must match management’s promises. However, many times it does not. Generally, senior management creates a vison/direction for the organization, sales and middle management may massage the message, supervisors interpret and spin the message, and operatives do what they feel is best. To achieve consistent success, all levels of the organization must be in sync. Utilizing standardization, systems, comprehensive training, and disciplined quality monitoring can help organizations enhance and maintain the flow of information at all levels.

Falling short of expectations may be most noticeable when a company opens up a branch office, where the new operation might not replicate the corporate culture and becomes less efficient than the home office. Continued expansion of branch locations can lead to numerous mixed cultures, which may produce barriers to organizational clarity and ultimately huge communication barriers.

The Focus of Organizational Clarity

To create and maintain a sense of organizational clarity from the top-down, an organization must:

  • Identify its core values and concepts
  • Utilize core processes or core competencies
  • Create a relentless discipline for continuous improvement
  • Monitor and sustain an upbeat corporate culture.

Core Values

Corporate core values begin with an organization’s mission statement, and every employee should embody them. These values can include: systems thinking; holding people in high esteem; following data; delivering customer value; committing to effective training at all levels; and conducting business with honesty, integrity, and a high standard of ethics.

Core Competencies

An organization’s core competencies represent how it performs all operational, administrative, management, and marketing work.

It all starts with systems thinking. Even the most skilled employees fail to thrive in a confused, disorderly organization that relies on individual performance. Yet, even mediocre employees can excel in an orderly, focused, systematic culture.

The BSC has two key core competencies: the cleaning system and the service strategy. Since each provides direct value to the customer, the organization needs to direct all support resources to focus on sustaining and improving their effectiveness.

Continuous Improvement

It is virtually impossible to develop an environment that supports improvement without quality standards. A standard is a documented, best-known method to perform tasks or processes. A standard combines technological knowledge and process know-how in written form for everyone’s use and benefit. An organization’s pursuit of continuous improvement drives the development of standards.

Standards make it easier for workers to perform their assigned tasks by avoiding known pitfalls. They also should focus on safety, help to identify the root cause of problems, and eliminate duplication efforts.

Good, sound standards are clear, specific, and precise; designed for the inexperienced; attainable and realistic; and, once adopted, fully accepted.

Corporate Culture

An organization cannot outperform its culture. Corporate culture is not what you aspire to be or even what you think you are; your culture represents what you are, every day. The foundation of your culture combines each of the organizational clarity elements listed above. The desired destination—or ultimately, what you want your corporate culture to be—depends solely on senior management’s leadership to set the values.

Consider these suggestions as you evaluate your service delivery and performance across your entire organization. They can go a long way in helping to achieve better clarity from the top to the mop.

Posted On September 29, 2016

Jim Harris Sr.

Founder and CEO of Concepts4 Cleaning Consultants

Jim Harris Sr. is founder and CEO of Concepts4 cleaning consultants. He can be reached at

Jeff Merrihew

Senior Consultant and Technical advisor with Concepts4

Jeff Merrihew is a senior consultant and technical advisor with Concepts4 and can be reached at

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