The GreatAmerica Ops Review: How Transparency Shapes Our Culture Blog Feature

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By: GreatAmerica on March 21st, 2022


The GreatAmerica Ops Review: How Transparency Shapes Our Culture

Since our inception 30 years ago, GreatAmerica has prioritized loyalty to our customers and focused on their success. We adhere to our 10 guiding principles – not only in our customer relationships, but also by keeping those same promises to our employees.  

Promises require trust, and trust requires transparency. In the early years, what began as a monthly update on company operations soon evolved into a company-wide meeting that detailed financials, new hire announcements, and celebrations that support our principles. This monthly share of information, commonly known at GreatAmerica as the Ops Review, allowed our culture to grow naturally into an environment that prized employee trust and transparency. We wanted employees to have a full view of the company. 

A Legacy of Transparency 

In the early days, the entire company could fit in a large room for an hour-long meeting. The health of the company was always reviewed and GreatAmerica founder, Tony Golobic, would round out the hour with some motivational words anchored to our vision, mission, and principles. 

The Ops Review soon became a space for recognition and celebration, in addition to reporting the company’s financial health. We were able to shine a light on difference-makers within the company and highlight their work to their peers. We also expanded the cast of presenters to provide increased familiarity with company leadership and their perspectives on business operations and culture.  

“The Ops Review has been an important vehicle for demonstrating why we do what we do and the cultural values that guide our actions.”  

- Matt Doty, Vice President, Corporate Communications 

GreatAmerica grew exponentially in three decades, and when a company goes from having only a handful of employees to over 600, it can be a challenge to keep processes and culture intact.  Today, we continue to provide information about the status of the company, inviting employees to stake a claim in our direction and recognize how even the smallest actions make big differences. The Ops Review has evolved from in-person meetings to a monthly company-wide broadcast that invites feedback through a survey at the end. Employees make full use of this medium to give their thoughts and express ideas. 

Bridging Creativity and Titles for Connection 

The Ops review gives employees an opportunity to interact with various leaders whom they may not see during their average workday and with information beyond the scope of their specific roles.  

To create an impactful Ops Review, we imagine how information can be presented and understood in an interesting way. Speaking to an audience with a variety of job roles, skill sets, and qualifications has always been our number one challenge. The question always becomes, “How can we make this information impactful and important to each GreatAmerican?” We do this by keeping the content relatable to our guiding principles and through open and honest communication. 

Like many companies, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the Ops Review routine. Our operations pivoted to remote and hybrid settings and provided the impetus to change our traditional in-person Ops Review to a digital format. With technology burnout becoming a very real battle, we restructured the Ops Review to be shorter and more succinct. We took our employees’ feedback into consideration when working to redesign the meeting and constructed a new, completely virtual experience tailored to our hybrid world. 

To create shorter meetings, we enlisted the help of our digital team to streamline the production process and provide multiple viewing times for employees. Today, our traditional Ops Review meetings span from 30-40 minutes and include multiple presenters who speak from their area of expertise. 

Constructing Authentic Stories to Engage All  

Ops Reviews represent an integral, transparent part of GreatAmerica. Each month brings a new chapter of our story that is read to all our employees. Our authenticity is a key part of our makeup: instead of framing information in a way that makes us look “better,” we take our story as it is and focus on what’s going on inside GreatAmerica and how each individual makes an impact on the future of the organization.  

“It’s not just information, it’s more than that. The stories that you tell yourself when a company isn’t communicating is that something bad is going on. When a company continually communicates openly, it fosters trust and builds a relationship between the people at the company and its leadership.”

- John Wiedenheft, Digital Marketing Director 

GreatAmerica is more than its leadership: it’s all its employees. The culture is a reflection of corporate transparency and involvement at every level. 

Want to join a company that has a solid foundation of transparency? We’re hiring!

GreatAmerica

GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. A $2.4 Billion company, GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and has a staff of over 600 employees with offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow. www.greatamerica.com

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