Submitted on Fri 28 Jun 2013
The whole of TRC Group's Sydney operation gathered for the award ceremony on June 26th, dressed to impress. We knew we were in the top 50 but we had no idea where we had placed, and we gathered with bated breath as the countdown began…
But our story doesn’t start there. In 2012 we were ranked the 10th Best Place to Work in Australia by BRW, an amazing achievement for us as it was our first year entering the competition! However, the 12 months since have been difficult for the recruitment industry, requiring some tough decisions. We were therefore a little nervous that this may have had a detrimental affect on employee engagement.
So as the countdown continued in the packed out Sunroom at the Ivy, champagne flowed and hearts began to race. The countdown had gone from 50 down to 31 and we still hadn’t been called. Down to 20 and we realised one of two things. That either a) we'd been invited by mistake or b) we'd done pretty well.
Finally our name was called…and we were officially named the 12th best place to work in Australia! Up there with household names and iconic companies such as Red Balloon, McAfee, Atlassian, SAS and Salesforce.
Needless to say we celebrated in true TRC style!
Nursing well deserved hangovers the following morning, Sarah Banek, TRC's Talent and Training Manager (now officially the best HR Manager in the recruitment industry, as she so humbly pointed out after the awards were announced) and Simon Moss, man at the helm and Managing Director, called a meeting. Simon's question to us all was this: how, in light of the challenging year we've just had and the tougher line we've taken with our team, did we become the 12th best place to work in Australia?
As we munched on our breakfast, we 'chewed' it over, and this is what we found...
How to build a great place to work when times get tough according to TRC
1. Honesty, transparency and communication is key
Strong leadership underpins a healthy culture. Instilling confidence in your people in your ability to lead, and lead them well, requires open, honest communication and inclusion. Involving our people in what we do defines how we do things. Transparency in good times and bad enables our people to pull together, tackle challenges and celebrate success. Supporting one another, in turn supports our business, and knowing why we make the decisions (often times difficult decisions) that we do, is the key to harvesting great culture and thereby a great place to work.
2. Refocus on what makes you great – your values, your vision, the "why"
Understanding the "why" is at the heart of TRC's culture. Being a values driven organisation, our core values of quality, teamwork, respect and commitment underpin every decision made. Having core values that your people believe in and are willing to commit to, in terms of living the values daily, is key to building the culture that you envision for your business at a scalable level.
Our vision is our story. For our people to believe in who we are, and where we're heading, they need to believe in our story in a way that they value the integral part they play. To achieve this, your vision needs to be clear, ambitious but achievable, and constantly communicated. Here at TRC we have our compass, which encapsulates our core values, our big, hairy, audacious goal and our brand promise. In our way of thinking, our culture and our customer service define our brand promise. If we can continue to focus our energy on developing our culture within, we believe that our measure of success in terms of our service offering will be boundless.
3. Harvest the ideas of the team and get them to implement them
Involving our people in shaping the face of our business has been key to our success. Inclusion in critical issues involving our business gives our people a sense of belonging, and of being part of something important. Often our team has far better ideas on how we should do things than our management does. At the coalface, they know what adds value to their customers, and how best to improve our service offering. We hold quarterly 'think tanks' where our team gathers, sans management, to brainstorm ideas and create focus groups to tackle specific questions. They come up with the ideas, champion them, then work with management to create systems and generate output, then implement them.
We look forward to what comes next on our journey, and we hope that you do too!