I joined CareTouch about a year and a half ago, and back then, the face of CareTouch was very different from the company we are today. We had big goals and not very many people to help make them happen. Our lopsided hierarchy consisted of 5 senior managers and only 3 client service representatives. “That’s a lot of chefs in the kitchen,” I thought, “and not a lot of people left to directly serve our customers.”
And thus, the big conundrum: How was a company with such big goals, a handful of customers and an even smaller number of client service representatives going to make a difference? Here’s how we did it.
Last Fall, we shook up the company. We started by making a complete shift from a technology company to a services company. We then got lean and maintained only the people and the perks that were going to keep our company motivated and aligned with our big goals. We developed vision and mission statements that meant something to us (and still do). We began fostering a culture that made coming to work fun, challenging, and profitable at the same time.
Has it been easy? Not in the least bit. Is it rewarding to be where we are today? Absolutely.
We’ve had to completely shift the way we thought about our business, our target market, and how we related to one another inside the walls of the company. Here are some things we’ve learned along the way:
Planning is good. By getting our entire staff on the same page about what we wanted to achieve, how we planned on doing it, and how each person contributed to the overall picture, we were able to get a clear picture of our goals and the steps it would take to get us there.
Accountability is important. No matter how great your goals are, they are worthless if the parties responsible aren’t held accountable for the results. We’ve learned to review the progress against our goals regularly and make sure everyone is supported in order to reach them.
People are even more important. The folks at the top always knew this, but I think that our culture has transformed the entire company in a way that every single employee knows that they are a critical spoke in our collective wheel.
Walk your talk. Do we focus on adherence or on resupply? Are we truly compassionate communicators? How do we demonstrate this compassion in everything we say and do? These were fundamental objectives and values that we wanted to focus on and express, and we did it by understanding our customer’s needs better, as well as working to create programs that would allow us to walk our talk, e.g. CareTouch in the Community.
Of course, we’ve learned many other valuable lessons along the way. We’ve made some mistakes, have celebrated many victories, and have course-corrected when necessary, but this is all part of the process of becoming a great company that serves great customers. And, we’re not finished yet.
Cindy Skerjanec is Marketing Director for CareTouch and brings two decades of strategic marketing and branding expertise to the company. She has led CareTouch’s brand initiatives, strategic marketing direction and tactical execution for the last year. In her spare time, she leads marketing workshops and teaches yoga. She lives with her husband and two children in Colorado.