A strong workplace culture in seven simple steps

To build a successful and sustainable business that can grow fast, you need a great culture.

A strong workplace culture needs every team member aligned to the same vision and living the same values. It also needs every new recruit to ‘lift the average’ of the existing high standards.

This might make sense, “But how on earth do you do it?” is the question that I get asked all the time.

Sometimes the best way to learn is to understand the experiences of others. At The Physio Co, we’ve spent years refining our recruitment process, and it’s never finished. We are continually reviewing and improving it. Here’s the process we use right now for finding great people that’s helped us become one of Australia’s 50 Best Places to Work.

The most important criteria (in order of importance) we seek in prospective new The Physio Co family members (TPCers) are:

1. Culture fit – an ability to EFFORTLESSLY live The Physio Co values. Successful applicants need plenty of examples to explain how they live (and have lived) our core values to TPC recruiters.

2. Passion for oldies – TPCer’s love aged care residents.

3. Passion for The Physio Co – TPCer’s love The Physio Co and are dying to join our award-winning family

4. Key skills for the specific role.

The Physio Co’s hiring process is exhaustive. Every potential new hire goes through the following process before a job offer is considered:

1. Written application – needs to include a letter that answers the question: “Which of The Physio Co’s four core values resonates with you the most and why? (Remember to Be Memorable!)”

2. A 15-minute phone screen

 

3. One-and-a-half hour first interview with two TPC recruiters

4. Skills assessment – testing of likely scenarios (both written, verbal and role play required).

5. Three to four hour site visit – spent with existing TPC family members onsite at an aged care facility.

6. A 1-1.5 hour second interview with two different TPC recruiters

7. Three reference checks (with referees that TPC recruiters select)

The vast majority of the selection process is based upon assessment of culture-fit. Alignment with The Physio Co core values is our measure of fit.

In fact, the initial 1.5 hour interview is exclusively assessing culture fit. A vast majority of questions are around our core values and Painted Picture vision, but, we also use questions including: “From 1-10, how lucky are you in life?” and “If you were an AFL team, who would you be and why?” to keep the applicant guessing as to what will come next, to ensure a memorable interview experience and to ensure we are only selecting the best culture-fits.

The TPC recruiters that complete the initial interview individually fill out a scorecard after the interview. The scorecard – known as the Post Interview Size-up! – is a chance for each recruiter to consider the applicant against our criteria and provide a framework for the conversation as to whether the applicant will progress.

At any point throughout the seven-step selection process, if any existing TPCer is not 100% convinced that an applicant is the right person to join The Physio Co family, then that person is unsuccessful.

A ‘maybe’ from anyone in the process is a definitive ‘no’ for any applicant at The Physio Co. Our culture is far too important to employ anyone that could damage that.

Building a strong workplace culture is one of the most sustainable competitive advantages any business can build. This seven-step selection process works for The Physio Co. By learning about how we select new team members, I hope it might help you build, refine or improve your selection systems.

If you have a question, comment or idea you’d like to share about building a strong culture, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And good luck!

Tristan White is a qualified physiotherapist, ironman triathlete, blogger and CEO of The Physio Co – Australia’s eighth Best Place to Work. His passion is to build a strong family and workplace culture and share what he learns with the world.

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