Creating a best place to work

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As the Talent & Training Manager for TRC Group, people and performance have been at the heart of what I do for the past 2 years. Having come 10th and 12th in BRW's Top 50 Best Places to Work in Australia in 2012/13 I thought I'd write about our journey in creating a Best Place to Work within the recruitment industry.

I joined TRC Group more than 5 years ago, and have been fortunate enough to experience the ebb and flow of the significant growth and change necessary to getting us to where we are today. I have both watched, and played an integral part, in the process of building and maintaining an industry leading culture.

I'd like to share some of the things I've learnt on this journey over a series of posts each dealing with a specific aspect of creating a Best Place to Work.  I thought I'd start with the four common elements across all aspects.  If you can get these four right you'll be well on your way to becoming an employer of choice.

1. Care about the little things. Attention to detail is a differentiator. If you're going to do something, take the time and do it well. Others will inevitably try and replicate what you do, but rarely will they compare, as you're the genuine article. The 'little things' amount to big things. Whether it be creating your office environment, celebrating your cultural diversity, channeling ideas, or marketing and branding, this attention to detail, whether you realise it or not, is a game changer.

2.  Involve your people in shaping the face of your business. Our culture has grown organically over the years because we chose to involve our team in defining the type of company we wanted to become. And this stands strong to this day. We hold on-site and off-site quarterly think tanks to generate ideas on how to move forward as a business, increase productivity, streamline systems and processes, and reduce costs. Your people are hands down your greatest asset; by giving them a voice, understanding what drives them, what they care about most, and finding ways to integrate this into your business, your culture begins to take care of itself.

3. Constantly work on your communication. Just when you think you've communicated enough, you haven’t. I've leaned that people genuinely appreciate honest and open communication. We have always believed in transparency, and at times we probably give our team more business critical information than we should. Yet, with the right intention this has always benefitted rather than hindered. We've always found that helping people to understand the 'why' behind the decisions we make, enables us to move forward with, often times, difficult initiatives, whilst maintaining our sense of community and culture.

4. Have fun along the way. This is important. The journey of creating great culture is wildly unpredictable, exciting, often times full of surprises, at other times downright challenging. At TRC we constantly strive to be creative, to be different, and importantly we recognise our cultural diversity by celebrating multicultural milestones and international events. I think it's important to celebrate your wins, however small, and to stamp your individuality on the way you do things. Make the good times, and sometimes even the not so good times, memorable. For us, creating good culture is an ongoing initiative. It's about inventing, trying things out, risking failure, and trying again.

Are you someone who thrives on great culture? These are some of the things we do here at TRC - what do you do in creating a Best Place to Work? We'd love to hear from you.