Q: Dear Tristan, about 18 months ago we had 68 staff, we now have 171 and I have a further 66 vacancies I am currently recruiting for! I am the entire HR department (recruitment, training, oh&s etc) and was wondering if you were in my position, what would be the #1 thing you would concentrate on to ensure a great culture within the organisation? Something with maximum benefit but minimal time allocation. - NF
A: Dear NF, what an awesome question! Thanks for asking and congrats on being focussed on creating a great culture when you have so much on your plate. I'm impressed :)
Now, in my experience, a strong culture starts with a clear vision. Team members want to be a part of a growing business that's achieving it's goals. But, unless you very clearly document and share that vision with everyone, it can be forgotten.
At The Physio Co, our Painted Picture of 2012 vision that we created and shared in 2009 has been the most powerful thing we ever did to build a strong culture. That vision includes measurable goals that we have been tracking for over 3 years now. For example, we have a goal to deliver 100,000 unique and memorable physiotherapy consultations in 2012. Every month since that vision was shared we have been tracking our 'TPC Tally' progress and have grown from delivering 40,000 consultations in 2009 to being on track to hit our 100,000 consultation goal by 31 December 2012.
A clear vision with measurable goals is just as powerful for attracting new recruits as it is for engaging and retaining existing team members. Therefore, if I were you, I'd find a way to clearly, concisely and simply share your vision with everyone as often as possible. I'd also do my very best to make sure my CEO and leadership team was onboard with the strategy and telling stories around bringing our vision to life too.
**Btw, this post is part of the ‘Ask Tristan’ series. If you have a question, please email me: asktristan [at] tristanwhite.com.au