Simon Sinek said it best: Keep the ‘why’ clear, year after year. My ‘why’, from day one, has always been to take care of the people (our amazing health care professionals) who take care of our most vulnerable people (our aging Long Term Care residents). And while our model has metamorphosed over the years, my ‘why’ has never, ever wavered. It’s what drives me. It keeps me excited and grounded. It’s my cause, my motivation, and my purpose – I have even referred to it as my calling. It’s the common denominator in any decision I have ever made for the company. So why is the ‘why’ so important? Let me tell you about four of the big things that stand out in my business because of staying true to my ‘why’.
Growing my team. We couldn’t do any of what we do without our dynamic team and I am proud to say that our team is made up of people who connect to our vision. When team members hear about our ‘why’ and how their role contributes to it, they become more excited about what they are doing. Our mission is a big one and our work is important, and when our employees connect with our ‘why’ magic happens. The team accomplishes more. They are innovative. They are accountable. And they are jovial. I have a team that is engaged and playing their own part in making sure we take care of the people who take care of our most vulnerable people.
Setting and maintaining high standards. We’re paving the way for seamless staffing technology in the long term care sector and because the organizations we staff are home to our most vulnerable population, this mission comes with a big responsibility. The only way to do it well is to set our standards high by knowing our ‘why’. Many of the companies that I have admired over the years have displayed a dedication to excellence, attention to detail, and great customer service. Knowing our ‘why’ has helped us to define what high standards mean to us and then align those standards to our vision in every aspect of the business.
Effective and efficient decision making. The ‘why’ drives every part of the business: marketing, tech, operations, human resources, growth, and financials – to name a few! There are a lot of moving parts to every business and when the ‘why’ is clear then making decisions in any area of the business becomes easier. I ask myself “how am I going to use this to help me reach my ‘why’?” and the answer always presents itself.
Personal development and self-care. As you already know, our why is to take care of the people who take care of our most vulnerable people. How can I contribute to a culture of taking care of people in our care without taking care of myself? Being connected to this ‘why’ has sent me on a journey of personal and professional development and self-mastery because you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. I frequently engage in coaching, volunteer work, reading, activities that I can challenge myself with such as Pilates, golf or paddleboarding, I attend conferences, participate in committees, and more. I recognize any investment in myself is an investment into our ‘why’.
While it may sound simple to identify and live your ‘why’ in your company, running a business is very chaotic and it’s easy to forget why we are doing things as we simply try to navigate each day. I think it’s important to have reminders everywhere. In our office we post a large copy of our Plan A ‘10 Commandments’ for everyone to see when they walk in, my leadership team can be heard repeating our ‘why’ throughout the week, our marketing is aligned with the very same message and we focus by taking care of the people in our office first. I believe as a result we have created job opportunities that are fulfilling and meaningful, our team is connected and our mission is growing by the week.
As 2019 comes to an end, I cannot even begin to express the amount of gratitude I have for everyone who lives this ‘why’ with me. My incredible team and I are wrapping up this year and we are flying in formation. We are riding this momentum straight into 2020, believing in our ‘why’, and ready to take on whatever comes next. I am feeling excited, energized and confident in this vision, and cannot wait for more growth, more partnerships, and more big strides for Plan A and our ‘why’.
With 2020 and a new decade fast approaching, our ‘why’ has never been more clear!
~ Sheri Tomchick, President of Plan A Long Term Care Staffing & Recruitment