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Work Shouldn’t Suck

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My wife works for PointClickCare (PCC), the company that now dominates the Skilled Nursing, Electronic Health Records (EHR) marketplace for all of North America.  She has never worked harder or longer hours for any company.  She has never liked any job or employer more than PCC.  Her view is not unique; it would describe most of the PCC team. 

It is All About Culture

As you read this article, keep in mind these three questions in the context of your own organization:

  • Do the employees of your organization love to come to work?
  • Do they feel as good about work at the end of the day as the start of the day?
  • Do they find joy in their jobs, particularly when the going gets tough, or long?

PCC Culture

Most company Christmas parties are events of obligation to be endured by employees and long suffering spouses.  My wife joined PointClickCare in November 2 years ago. By the end of her orientation she was being encouraged to come back to Canada from California for the PCC Christmas party and to bring me along, with the company picking up the costs. 

Even though it was free, I was not thrilled with the idea of spending most of two days on an airplane, to then endure an obligatory party with 250 strangers.  I agreed for two reasons: my wife wanted to make a good impression and we had some young friends with a new baby we had never seen who lived nearby.

I had it all wrong, it was a great party!  The people were fun, the food was good and the speeches were short and sweet.

This past December I returned for my 3rd annual party (had to pay my own airfare this time)  My wife had been in Canada all week and on Thursday night she wanted to go hangout with work friends at The Firkin, the after-hours PCC watering hole.  We had been there for maybe half an hour when Mike Wessinger, the CEO of PCC rolled in to hang-out with the gang.  I got to chatting with him about the PCC story and I extracted a promise of an interview after the first of the year.  

In my interview with Mike, we covered a lot of ground but I was particularly intrigued by how PCC managed to create the kind of culture where people loved to come to work each day; loved to work hard and even stay late when necessary.

Here are the essential elements of what Mike taught me about the PCC corporate culture:

  • For most of our adult lives we spend more awake time at work than we do at home.  Because of this “work shouldn’t suck”.  This becomes the underlying principal that makes PCC so successful.
  • They only hire and keep people who want to be there.
  • Their goal is to treat PCC team members as well as they treat their customers.  This ultimately is a huge deal because, while most companies treat their customers as always being right, it is rare to see team members in the same light.
  • The Wessinger brothers had a clear vision for an innovative, disruptive way of doing EHR for skilled nursing facilities. They developed a cloud based system, rather than using expensive hardware that required a significant upfront expense and on-going expensive IT expertise.  They were then able to cast that vision for their employees in such a way that employees wanted to be a part of the quest.

With some reluctance I will offer you some specific things they do to make PCC not suck.  The reason I am reluctant is mostly because the specifics are the result of the culture but are not in and of themselves, the culture.  In other words you can do all of these things in such a way that work still sucks. That being said, here they are:

  • Beer Friday – Find a PCC employee and ask exactly what this means
  • Great catered lunches three days a week
  • An open, collaborative environment
  • Flexible work hours
  • Transparency: employees know short and long term company goals and partner in their achievement
  • More than half of all PCC employees telecommute (I know doesn’t work well for senior housing communities).
  • A gym
  • Bosses who hang-out with and like the team

How are you doing in your culture?  Do people look forward to coming to work each day and working hard?  If yes, what are your employees saying about your organization.

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