It’s often the case in any service industry that you spend your time and energy helping your customers, but neglect your own business of the things you do best.
A builder will often never get to laying the garden wall in their home that needs sorting or a plumber will not have time to fix the leaking tap in their bathroom.... Sound familiar?
As business owners we are passionate about our chosen vocation and it's natural to focus on wowing our customers and delivering work for them.
Delivering on your promise
I have experienced working in businesses that talk the talk, but haven’t always walked the walk. What is spoken externally about how they operate simply, is not the reality. It’s an observation or reflection rather than a criticism, and I think it's all too commonplace across many companies.
Walking our walk
At Sprout part of my role is to practice what we preach ensuring our People Strategy is aligned and entwined with the Business Strategy. I am passionate about doing this for us, our people and our brand.
I love that I am empowered to do this and the team see and experience the value and impact of it.
Helping others walk their walk
Being able to partner with businesses and talk about our first-hand experience means that we are authentic in our understanding and credible in our advice.
Our aim is to first truly understand the problem or issue and then define a solution that’s realistic and implementable. Put simply, we are passing on our own learnings in a real way, which builds the connection on a foundation of trust.
How has Sprout’s PX evolved?
I have assessed the entire people life cycle at Sprout. This initially involves ensuring our ‘HR hygiene’ (job descriptions, contracts, employee playbooks) were up to scratch. We have also built some of our own unique recruitment and selection processes to attract great talent into Sprout, such as having the partner of the recruit meet with us too. It’s all about the family at Sprout!
On a regular basis I initiate a ‘Sprout Conversation’ (a structured, formal engagement discussion) with all of our team that includes our founder (founders are people too!). Our employee value proposition is bespoke to each individual, giving them the power to choose what works for them.
Essentially, everything we do at Sprout has to connect to our vision, purpose, values and shared competencies. This helps keep us focused and ultimately ensures we’re practicing what we preach.
The role of PX and execution
The latest PX ritual we have worked on is putting in place an OKR (objective key results) framework and weekly engagement tool to ensure we continue to stay focused and deliver our strategy.
It is another example of us ensuring we are walking the walk as we are finding ourselves sharing stories on this approach along with pragmatic and practical ways to implement to those that we partner with.
I am proud to work in a company that is not only ensuring high growth businesses have a world class PX, but is also spending the time and effort to ensure that we do too.
Is your business like the plumber with the leaking taps back home, or is it water tight? Does the external perception you put across, match the internal reality? Have you considered empowering an internal ambassador to ensure what you do and say externally is reflected internally?
Gaynor Topham is people, operations and project manager (it’s a hard job to create a title for!) at Sprout. Gaynor helps Sprout get its own house in order, but also helps clients in this way too. Interested in understanding more? Contact Gaynor on firstname.lastname@example.org