The people difference: How Evermore is creating a culture that will revolutionise lifestyle choices for older people
If you’re in the business of serving people, talk about the reason why you exist to your staff. It makes sure you attract and keep the right people; means you’re working towards the same goal; plus it provides context for decisions.
At Evermore our “why” is love and happiness. We don’t believe people are destined to be solitary so we’ve committed to providing an environment where people can share their lives with others, continue to play a part in their community and to pursue their passions. This ‘why’ is bigger than ourselves and gives us purpose. It guides our decisions and behaviour on a daily basis.
Prioritise coaching over management and procedures
Evermore communities are designed into small households of around 10 people, and each household has its own tribe of Mulinellos.
We let each tribe run their household and their rota. We don’t have layers of management to check their homework, instead we have coaches to support, develop and listen.
Coaching and relationships are at the heart of our interactions with our customers, so this has to apply to our staff too. We expect our coaches to have deep knowledge of each Mulinello’s individual circumstances so they can provide the right support needed, at any time. After all, that’s what we expect our Mulinellos to do for the people they support.
Keep rules to a minimum
The world we operate in is governed by rules and regulations, plus the way things ‘have always been done’. But we’re free to make our own decisions and to show initiative, guided by an overwhelming desire to enable the people we serve to live life to the full.
As a result, we keep rules to a minimum. All we ask is:
Invest in your people
Only recruit the best and pay as much as you can. Invest in them and provide ongoing coaching to help them learn new things and get even better at their job. Plus, give them space to show you what they can do.
Trust and more trust – you have to mean it!
Mulinellos are best placed to make decisions with their customers. They come up with ideas together and have been referred to as ‘partners in crime’!
So we’ve given them the autonomy to make decisions and resolve issues with customers – there’s no one better placed to do so. Enable your staff to take initiative and trust them to make the right choice. If you trust them, they’ll always astound you.
Recruit for personality
Making customers happy every single day is a brilliant job. But for this to work, you need people to bounce out of bed every morning and that requires a big personality. When we’re looking at recruiting staff, we look at personality first. Everything else we can teach.
A key part of the role of a Mulinello is to enable our customers to remain connected to their community, as well as being an advocate for them. Therefore, we always recruit locals because they need networks and better knowledge than a black cab driver!
In the future, we also intend to recruit veterans from the services as we know they’ll have the skills to run a great household. Plus, who knows what exciting adventures they’ll dream up for our customers?
As the leaders of Evermore, our job is to keep things simple, communicate brilliantly and to be accessible. We let our people get on with the job of providing exceptional service because we know they’ll deliver.
Sara McKee, Evermore Founder and Director of Market Innovation
Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraMcKeeFRSA
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