Trojan CorporateTrojan Corporate

By Narelle Davidson


Ask the right questions to understand the compliance culture and employee values of your club.

So many times we hear the words compliance culture and employee values; but what do they really mean?  I read recently that “Culture is a big and somewhat vague term. Some define it as “what happens when nobody is looking.”

Culture is the attitudes, beliefs, values and customs of your venue that become the “normal”.  Culture is what attracts  people to your business over others.

Have you ever thought about asking your employees what they think about your clubs values?

Recently, I was asked to share my thoughts on six top questions to ask team members to gauge employee values. The following questions may well be an indication of what is important to me personally, based on my values.   You could start with your vision and values statement and create your own suite of questions to ask your team.

#1           I am proud to work at “company name”.

Earlier this year I spoke to a group of managers about people culture and referenced the Rolling Stones and ‘Satisfaction’. Pride is self-satisfaction, self-respect. We should feel good about ourselves and work should be part of that.

As employers we have an impact on our employee’s higher needs like belonginess, esteem and personal potential.

Our employees should be proud to work for us and we should be proud of them.

#2           I am able to make decisions affecting my work.

Being able to make decisions about things that affect us means we take responsibility for our actions. It seems that part of responsibility is linked to our own personal values and principles. It makes sense that we would want to align with people that have similar values to ourselves. This creates group cohesion. The strength of a group is fully realised when mutual positive feelings are shared between each and all its members.

To quote Aristotle:

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

So, when we are working together we feel better about ourselves, this can have extremely positive effect on individuals and on our business.

#3           Senior management and employees trust each other

Trust and belief in ourselves is critical. The same in others. I recently read an article that discussed what trust looked like in the workplace. The article gave the following behaviours that people identify as indicators that management is trustworthy:

  • Follow through with what they say they will do
  • Walk the talk and keep their promises
  • Actions are consistent with stated values
  • Do the right thing even when there is pressure not to do so
  • Stand behind whatever they are asking someone to do
  • Make decisions based on what’s good for the organization
  • Back employees up
  • Have faith employees can do the task without checking; don’t doubt them
  • Keep confidential information confidential.

Deceptive behaviour will not inspire trust in your people. Justin McGurgan (Raising the Barista)

#4           How important to you is it that you have a safe work environment?

Safety is a basic human right. When our safety needs are met we feel protected, have security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

#5           My company/ members of my work group treat customers/clients with respect.

Treating people with respect is as much about the self-esteem of others as our own. Having respect for other people helps us maintain important relationships. Positive work relationships are essential.

#6           I have confidence in the senior management team/board/executive

It has been said that confidence is a state of mind. Confidence is linked to believing in our skills, experience and ability. It makes perfect sense that our teams should have this with their leadership team.

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone. The courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. Douglas Mc Arthur

Bonus question

My absolute important question to ask

#1           I get excited about going to work.

Why wake up each day and do a job you hate….work should stimulate us if it doesn’t excite us how will we fuel the fire in others? If your staff aren’t motivated to be there, then will your customer want to be?


About narelle-davidson
Narelle Davidson has been involved in the hospitality industry for 20 years and has experience working with clubs and hotels in New South Wales & Queensland. Narelle has progressed through varying roles from front line customer service, gaming promotion co-ordination, self-employment, hotel management, training, consulting and compliance. In most recent years, Narelle has focussed on compliance programs and solutions for hospitality venues. With practical understanding of both NSW & Queensland legislative requirements Narelle is able to rationalise and provide the expertise required to facilitate effective regulatory and operational compliance frameworks. Narelle is a current member of the Governance, Risk and Compliance Institute (GRCI).