In the global environment within which our Members operate, travel plays an important role as people gather for congresses and events. Although the risk to the general public is low in relation to the recent Coronavirus spread, the AIPCO Board and Council trust that our members and partners continue to take advice from their respective healthcare and government authorities when travelling and delivering projects for the clients.
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We all know there are two standout challenges in our industry; how to recruit high quality talent in a highly competitive market and how to retain our talent to ensure we continue to consistently deliver exemplary service to our clients. The answer is simple. There is no one size fits all solution. We can, and will, only start to see results when we see our employees as individuals whose needs, career drivers and passions change and evolve during their journey.  

Our CEO and original creator of CPI culture always speaks from the heart and encourages each of us to do the same. As such, we’ve based our core values around People, Partnership and Innovation and we are encouraged to take the approach where people are our priority, always. As an organisation filled with people who care, we are mindful of creating this experience at all stages in the employee life cycle.  

Like every journey we take, initially life on the open road sounds great but it could get boring very quickly if you have no plan or idea of where you’re going. We start to ask ourselves questions: what do I want to see? What excites me? What would enrich my life experiences? This can be very similar to the experience to a new employee joining a new organisation, or even when they are mid-way through their career journey.  How do we at CPI think about pre-empting and answering these questions to ensure our employees feel they are on a fulfilling journey with us?  

For me, this starts with our culture.  If we strive to create a culture of collaboration and belonging by building strong relationships with our employees, we inherently create a two-way commitment to ongoing conversations and actions to engage and retain. This starts at the time of hiring and follows through all stages in the employee life cycle. It’s so important at the hiring stage to set the scene not only of our culture, but also to ensure core values and brand promise are communicated effectively in this essential first step.  We need to engage our hiring managers to create interview experiences that explore not only the skills required to deliver in the role, but also to define and seek out personal qualities to ensure our people thrive within our environment. 

Rarely is the path to success a straight road.  More often it is a meandering path with many different turns and in response as an organisation, we are working to ensure that options exist for our talented people to explore different areas of the business and to discover their niche within it. 

Our aim is to create a meaningful vision of how employees can develop within our unique culture. For us, that’s extremely visual. We have developed a “Road to Success” for each of our employees by working with every department to understand the roles people play, the training and development needed to progress and the commitment needed from all to create successful paths we can deliver on. It’s important that each individual within our organisation can see the skills and qualities they need to develop to progress not only within their own department but throughout the organisation.   

So how do we live by these words? There are a few areas that we see as essential. We want to stay true to who we are from 20 years ago until now.  We know over time that organisational culture can change but it is our responsibility to regularly revisit and examine our culture. This is no easy feat.  It’s a concerted effort to have an ongoing honest discussion based around our core values to see how well we live by them; how able we are to communicate them and ensure they are understood; and how well we measure the effectiveness. 

We need to recognise that evaluation and change can’t happen in isolation and can’t solely be based on the thoughts and opinions of the management team.  We need to value everyone’s input by asking for feedback on a consistent basis.  We want everyone to feel a part of the evolvement of our culture. Communication is key; encouraging frank, open conversations, delivering meaningful and informative communications, and answering direct questions with direct answers to ensure an openness in information flow. 

We meet regularly to examine how we are doing.  It’s so important to identify the problems and roadblocks we have faced, but more importantly to examine the available solutions, with everyone’s insights to move us forward and keep us evolving.  We involve everyone in this process to enable natural development and to push us to think about ideas and solutions outside of our comfort zones. 

Finally, we need to appreciate each of the individuals in our organisation. We love to tap in to what makes each person tick, what makes them feel energised, valued and appreciated.  And we need to give them the time and balance to achieve this. Putting people at the very heart of our culture means we will never stop growing, and as a consequence our people will grow with us.