Purpose: To help prevent infections to save and improve lives
GAMA Healthcare is at the forefront of infection prevention and control, with a purpose, products and technology that have been crucial during the pandemic. Following a period of extensive and rapid growth, GAMA completed the recruitment of its new senior leadership team (EXCO) in 2022. The team comprised the two founders (joint CEO’s), along with Chiefs of Departments who each brought a wealth of experience from major organisations but who hadn’t worked together before. GAMA was upscaling rapidly, leading to a need for better communication and a unified approach in order to lead the business effectively and deliver on the purpose. It was important to re-engage everyone, particularly the large number of new joiners, with the company’s Purpose and Values, while also clearly setting out the vision and business strategy. An additional challenge was that EXCO members had little data or insight into how people were feeling, and what more could be done to help them thrive; including what their enablement factors and barriers were.
Devote, a consultancy passionate about GAMA’s purpose, was engaged to work with the EXCO team to formulate a compelling 5-year vision and strategy, which was meaningful, easy to understand and aspirational for all. They ran cross-organisation focus groups to understand how people currently describe the organisation; what enables them to feel engaged and successful and drag factors that present a barrier. Mini activities to elevate employee voice and identify recurrent themes were instigated, including enabling people to send anonymous postcards to the founders. The key themes emerging from this centred on misalignment, work overload and frustration due to lack of clarity; perhaps unsurprising following a period of uncertainty and unprecedented growth.
This data enabled EXCO to begin working on a plan; including the factors that had helped the business to be successful thus far; aspirations of where the business wanted to be in 5 years and the primary drivers of growth. A broader group of managers across the business were engaged to shape this work, which took into account key employee and customer expectations, such as an emphasis on sustainability and ensuring a Future-Fit organisation. To effectively engage people, the Founders revisited why and how the business was created; the journey to date, and future aspirations.
The “GAMA House” was created, using the metaphor of a wooden shack transforming into a state-of-the-art house. Values formed the foundations; with strategic pillars to support and sustainability at the core of the build. This was launched to the whole organisation via a video animation created in-house, followed by presentations from the CEO’s.
To align strategic goals and aspirations with individual effort, the performance management process was revised to help managers and teams identify personal goals for the year. In addition, employees were anchored to company purpose through charitable work and were encouraged to engage in activities to ‘unlock’ funds for charities who shared a similar purpose. This created camaraderie even in hybrid working conditions, and a greater sense of belonging and community.
Finally, Leading with Purpose is a key external focus. To support during the ongoing pandemic, clinical and scientific employees were released to work temporarily within the NHS on their full GAMA salary. GAMA also continued to act as a thought leader in Infection Prevention & Control collaborating with Russell Group universities and sharing information with customers and global communities through training and social media.
All employees now have a personal Contribution Plan detailing their goals for the year ahead to ensure that everyone’s efforts are directly aligned with The GAMA House; the purpose, vision, strategy and values. At the end of the financial year, performance against this is assessed and rewarded.
After launching The GAMA House, a company-wide culture assessment was carried out using The Happiness Index (THI) to help the organisation gauge engagement and whether the GAMA House had taken account of people’s feedback.
- How committed are you to helping the organisation succeed? 9.1 / 10
- How clear is the link between your role and the success of the organisation? 8.1 / 10
- How clear are you on the requirements of your job? 8.1 / 10
- How well does your organisation keep you informed? 7.5 / 10
7.4 is the average UK THI score when benchmarked against other organisations, showing that people are engaged with GAMA’s purpose and clear how their contribution counts.
GAMA also receives ongoing thank you letters from customers, including the NHS, for their people’s efforts.
Next steps are crucial to continue the momentum and EXCO are committed to reviewing the five-year vision and goals of the GAMA House. At Friday ‘Learns’, held every week, and company updates, progress reports are also provided against key elements. To ensure continued engagement and ownership, these sessions are led by different departments, supported by EXCO and GAMA’s joint CEO’s.
Every employee now has a Personal Development Plan and has been provided with a “protected half day” every month that they use to focus purely on their personal development. GAMA has also defined leadership capabilities which align to the delivery of their purpose and strategy. These capabilities will form the foundation of a new bespoke flagship Leadership Development Programme.
Read GAMA Healthcare’s winning Wellbeing approach