“Company culture is something that I really hadn’t considered before going to the November conference of the business mentoring course I’m enrolled in.
Looking back, I had assumed two things. Get ready to cringe……
I thought that I would just put together a one paragraph mission statement on what My Health Career is about and that would be that.
I thought that if I just did things the way I thought they should be done, that everyone in the company would just naturally follow suit.
Oh how wrong I was!!
I remember what changed for me in the process of sitting in that November conference hearing the presenter speak on how important it is to set company culture. He talked about a company whose owner he knew personally who had installed a rock climbing wall in their building. Whenever someone in the company did something great, they would be given a card to put at the top of the wall after climbing up. Everyone else would gather around at the bottom of the wall and clap and cheer them on in the process. Again I have tears in my eyes just thinking about how something like that can really bring a team together and create an inspired community.
The part that really blew me away though was when someone who had created their company culture got up to share the values he had brought into his business. He talked about love. As in love being one of the values of his business. This really knocked it out of the park for me because I realised that in My Health Career I had the opportunity to bring in all those things that I think are important personally. From that second onwards the vision of some stuffy corporation I had in my mind (which is what I thought MHC would have to become, and I was internally resisting this) completely went out the window.
I realised that this isn’t how business has to be.
I saw how wrong I’d been in the view that I didn’t think it was “appropriate” to bring all that mindfulness, compassion and “general mushy stuff” I’ve been personally cultivating into the business environment.
Businesses are made up of humans – both inside the business and outside the business. It’s us, our staff, our patients, our clients, our suppliers. WE’RE ALL PEOPLE!! We all want to be treated well, and we all want to deal with great businesses and work in great workplaces.
So back to the conference……
I really liked the approach they presented on company culture. It’s an important tool in staff recruitment, because in bringing on someone new, that person knows what behaviours they are agreeing to.
Going back to the “love” example. If staff in that company were not dealing with each other in a way that was loving, there would be a conversation about it. The discussion would go along the lines of “hey, we agreed that we treat each other in a loving way, do you think that behaviour is showing love?”
Wow! How simple does it then become to maintain that culture in the business?!?! And how cool is it that companies with culture like this exist?
Again, going back to the conference it was then suggested that we, the business owners come up with our most important values, and then ask our staff to do the same. The values would then be conglomerated to produce a single document of the top 5-6 values. At that time I’d just taken on Sab as a new article writer and future blog manager, and so it made perfect sense to see what was important to her in her first weeks of working at My Health Career.
The other instructions that we were given was that the values had to mean something to us. That we would feel something internally that we connect with. Here’s what Sab and I came up with. I know it sounds cliché, but it really does inspire us. But actually, you know, for real!! And it will set the tone for anyone else we bring on board, and how we deal with everyone we come in contact with.”
Amanda Griffiths is the founder of My Health Career. Since starting the website she has been an invited speaker for organisations including the Career Development Association of Australia and Career Education Association of Victoria, myfuture, and the Master of Ceremonies at the HealthFusion Team Challenge. She graduated from her optometry degree with first class honours in 2003, and spent two years as a part-time clinical supervisor of optometry students in a university setting. Amanda has worked as an optometrist in full time, part time and locum roles that have stretched from far north Queensland to Tasmania and Western Australia.