Chief executive of Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, says 'values should be believed in'
We’re all familiar with the concept of defining the values that characterise our businesses. But how many of us really mean what we say? How often do we imbue those values with total commitment?
Lyndsay Carter is chief executive of The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, and her views and values are of real interest. Key among them are ‘to provide service sufficient to the need’ and to ‘always treat people as you would want to be treated yourself’.
Bear in mind that The Norfolk Hospice is a non-profit making organisation. Therefore every penny it raises from events, donations and sponsorships has to be put directly to work; every single penny has to perform, making the organisation do better. And the challenges are very real. “Thirty-three per cent of patients waiting to come here, die before they get to us, because not enough beds are commissioned,” says Lyndsay.
What that means in, to be brutally frank, ‘commercial’ terms, is that the income, or revenue, has to be managed with laser-like precision. It can be difficult. For instance there’s the Dr Hugh Ford Inpatient Unit providing support for patients with life-shortening illnesses, or there’s providing support for families.
They are equally valid calls on resources, which have to be allocated to precisely where the need is, in order to provide service sufficient to the need.
With the demands that Lyndsay and her team face the corporate values are not trite management speak. You have to believe in them. The values that the Tapping House believe in are compassion, inclusivity, transparency, integrity and excellence.
Everybody in this team is under enormous pressure. Every day brings emotional challenge. You can’t function as a team, and you can’t deliver that service, unless everyone is motivated and supported. That happens through training volunteers for example, with programmes designed for their specific role.
And what better way to motivate and support than by treating everyone as you would want to be treated yourself? In Tapping House these values have to be totally genuine. Believed in.
In reality, no matter how demanding it gets, your business decisions will not, unlike Lyndsay’s team’s, be matters of life and death. But think how much better your business could be if you really deliver service to meet need; and you really treat staff and customers alike as you would want to be treated.
Think how your business would look if you made your decisions and implemented your strategies based on values that, like Lyndsay Carter’s team, you really believed in.
Tell us more about your plans and what’s on your mind.