At The Receptionist, we believe that a vibrant company culture is crucial for business success. Without a clear culture, it’s difficult to connect meaningfully with employees and customers.
That’s why we’re so passionate about building a company culture that can scale along with our company as it grows. Our own leaders have spent a lot of time using the Traction Model to establish the values that we used to make every decision at our own company.
However, we’re also interested in how other companies are living out their values and establishing strong workplace cultures.
Company culture can be defined many different ways, and each set of values will be very unique to the company they’re designed for.
In this article, we wanted to highlight three of our clients who have boldly stood in their own values and established a strong, healthy company culture in the process.
SwellSpark: Building a Culture Around the Value of Fun
Matt Baysinger started his career as a high school guidance counselor and, as he calls it, “became an accidental business person.” He is now the founder SwellSpark, a company that focuses on creating businesses that create fun experiences for people to enjoy together.
SwellSpark has opened several escape rooms throughout the country and has also dabbled in a few other really fun concepts, such as a pop-up ChoirBar where people of all musical skill levels all sing together while enjoying drinks. However, SwellSpark’s primary focus now is a chain of axe-throwing venues called Blade and Timber. Blade and Timber has locations throughout the country and is actively growing.
In the midst of that rapid growth, keeping culture consistent has been challenging. Here’s how Matt decided to implement cultural standards across all SwellSpark venues.
Provide a simple mission statement
Matt has a clear, simple goal for all of SwellSpark’s venues: To provide wholesome family entertainment. “Fun is underrated,” Matt says. “Let’s be a place that makes it easy to have fun.” A simple mission statement is a great lens through which to focus the rest of your business decisions.
Clarify the attributes you expect in employee behavior
Here are the words that Matt landed on to describe the behavior he wants to see in all SwellSpark employees: Joyful, eager, servants, action-oriented, and grit. (After all, customers aren’t likely to have fun when the people running things are somber, rude, or wait for problems to come up instead of proactively getting ahead of them.) These are the values through which employees are hired and promoted.
Start with leadership
Matt knows that culture and values start with the corporate office, and more specifically, they start with himself as the founder. “Everyone has had a bad teacher, and everyone has had a bad coach,” Matt says. “We know what not to do.”
The Fielding Group: Building a Velocity-Driven Culture Remotely
Nick Bradley used to work in private equity, helping investment firms buy less developed businesses, and then optimize and scale them up in order to re-sell them. “I saw a lot of business leaders navigate that world,”Nick says. After a while, he decided to “jump over the table and help people.”
The Fielding Group is a business accelerator that brings high-level, experienced business experts in fields like marketing and finance to help fix business problems quickly.
Here are some of the lessons about culture he helps teach his clients — and uses for his own business, too.
Hire for passion and habits
Nick knows well that hiring the wrong people can be one of the quickest killers of culture, especially when you’re in the early stages of building your company. It’s best to have a strong grasp on your company culture before you make even your first hire. If you don’t, other values will gain traction and you’ll have to retrofit your own values to the established culture later.
When he’s hiring for his own company, Nick looks for people who are interested in the company’s mission and who “have a certain way of operating which is a bit more disruptive.” He’s interested in what potential hires do outside of work and how they live their lives because, as he sums up, “how you do anything is how you do everything.”
Don’t fixate workplace culture on a physical location
In a world where digital tools are making remote work easier and expectations for employers are changing, fixating your workplace culture on a physical place can be very limiting, Nick says. The Fielding Group is essentially run virtually, and anyone from anywhere in the world can be a part of what they’re doing. This allows Nick to make those value-based hires vs. hiring the people who happen to live down the road and need a job.
Start with the leader’s values
Nick knows that many companies sit down and intentionally hash their values out, and that can be helpful in some cases. But unless company leadership really believes in the vision, it’s hard to make that culture stick within a business. It’s better, Nick says, to choose values that are a window into founders’ own personal standards.
The five values posted on The Fielding Group’s site are velocity, trust, collaboration, contribution, and growth. Their goal is to attract employees and teammates who have the same philosophy and ideology to those values.
Med RX Partners: Serving Clients With a Foundation of Empathy and Efficiency
Piper Buersmeyer, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, started Med RX with some of her partners in the hopes of making medication management more accessible to patients.
She had been working in private practice for about five years, but noticed that there was a serious problem in the Pacific Northwest with patients getting access to the mental health medication they need. So she and her partners got together and asked themselves, “How are we going to change mental healthcare?”
In Oregon, the state where Piper practices, patients are expected to establish care with a therapist before they can be prescribed medication. But establishing care can be a tricky prerequisite for certain patients, such as those coming out of a hospital, or those who have just moved to the area but need medication urgently.
Plus, specialists in mental health care often have a lot more insights and training into medications than the primary care physicians who are often tasked with the job.
In the Pacific Northwest, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners like Piper can operate independently. MedRx is a direct mental management access clinic that focuses on getting patients the medication they need quickly and without additional hurdles, and their culture is driven by the following goals.
Respect clients’ time
Med RX uses an electronic medical record system that allows clients to skip the paperwork and time typically spent on establishing medical history during the first appointment.
“The history is important, but it’s not getting down to the nitty gritty of this person in their suffering,” Buersmeyer says. “Life is busy and it’s hard, and we want to make sure we hear our patients and take care of their needs as soon as we can. We’re not going to have two or three treatments beforehand.”
Providers can also check providers out in-session so that they don’t have to go back to the front desk to schedule their next appointment.“Life is busy and it’s hard, and we want to make sure we hear our patients and take care of their needs as soon as we can.” — Piper Buersmeyer, MedRX Partners Click To Tweet
Empathize with clients’ emotions
Prioritizing efficiency when it comes to assessing a client’s history is also helpful because patients don’t have to spend that time getting into the trauma of their past with a practitioner they just met.
MedRX strives to validate mental health concerns as medical issues and treat them as a health provider would treat a patient. Keeping the patient experience at the center of its culture keeps the MedRX team focused on what’s important.
A Client-Centered Check-In Experience
All three of the clients mentioned in this article use The Receptionist for iPad to check clients in and out of their offices. The Receptionist is a tech-forward, user-friendly, and privacy-respecting way for clients to check into appointments and notify their hosts that they have arrived.
For more or to try The Receptionist for free for two weeks, head over to our website.
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