Trusting team members to solve big and scary problems helps build a strong culture. By sharing a problem and asking for help, you are effectively bringing every employee closer to the action and trusting them more than ever. Trust between management, employees and every staff member is a key ingredient that every strong culture shares.
At The Physio Co we have an annual team conference. Once a year, our entire team attends a full day event to learn, share, catch up and have some fun. At the 2011 team conference, we started sharing the challenges that exist in our fast growing business with our physio team. Instead of protecting our physios from the people, financial and logistical issues that our leaders deal with every day, we asked for their help. We asked for the 40+ intelligent people in the room to help figure out what we should do next.
The result: a rich group discussion that was eye opening for some and empowering for others. At the end of the session we had eight times the number of brains working on challenges that, when solved, will grow and improve The Physio Co faster than ever. What a fantastic result!
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The problem-sharing activity we started in August 2011 has worked beautifully for solving problems, with team members suggesting solutions and working closely with managers to grow The Physio Co and deliver on its vision to help aged care residents stay mobile, safe and happy. Sharing challenges has also worked nicely to align and focus our team. Everyone now has a better understanding of why certain decisions are made.
By sharing these challenges with our entire team, I no longer feel like I’m the only person responsible for solving problems. Entrepreneurs, CEOs and small business owners often shoulder all the worry and regularly suffer insomnia as they toss and turn over their worries at work. By asking for help, I know I’ve been able to sleep better and so have the rest of our leaders.
Another great solution to an ongoing challenge was solved a few weeks ago by a member of our physio team. The simple idea has resulted in an extra 20-50 physiotherapy visits per week to our elderly clients. From this one suggestion, our clients are happy to see their physio another day each week, our physios are happy with some extra shifts and The Physio Co continues to grow. Fantastic results from a simple suggestion that had nothing to do with me. Perfect!
The Physio Co was already seven years old when we started sharing our biggest challenges with everyone, we should have started doing it years ago!
Tristan White is a husband to Kimberley and a dad to little Alexandra. He’s 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. Tristan’s Culture is Everything blog was ranked by SmartCompany as one of Australia’s 25 Best Business Blogs in 2011.