Written by: Tom Flynn
Last week several hundred SpendMenders descended on our home office in Grand Rapids for our annual all hands meeting. We packed ourselves into a large conference room for a couple hours and we split time reviewing the past year’s accomplishments as well as our ambitious plans for the coming year.
Along the way we discussed our mission, our vision and our values and we took quite a bit of time calling out the great work of co-workers as well as the valuable contributions from key clients.
It’s no secret that I am a proud employee of SpendMend. I’ve worked here for over three years, and I am impressed everyday by my co-workers and the effort they put forward –especially by how much they care about the work that they do and the impact they have on hospitals across the country.
In response to my quick trip to Michigan, I wanted to share “Five Lessons Learned from Last Week’s Company Meeting.”
- This really is all about “Patient Care” – In every presentation from the CEO to the president, through pharmacy, clinical, marketing, development, operations, sales, and every space in between… every single department head talked about how the work we did is positively impacting “patient care” for our hospital clientele. We are not doctors (although a couple of us have been pharmacists and nurses) and we do not see patients, but the value of our solutions has a meaningful impact on supporting patient care – and we are proud of this fact. And that drives our work.
- SpendMend is growing with no signs of slowing down – I have to give huge credit to our Senior Leadership Team. About five years ago, SpendMend pivoted, and at that time, we were viewed as the healthcare industry’s leading profit recovery solution. For many firms, that would have been enough, but our leaders had a grander vision. The team decided that we could have a much larger impact on hospitals, and we began building a suite of solutions to help support the cost-cycle throughout all of healthcare. As a result, we have taken off like a rocket! At our all hands meeting we reviewed several different charts and graphs marking our progress in revenue, margins, employees, solutions, and by every major marker we have been steadily moving up and to the right.
- We have an amazing team! – I cannot stress this enough. I love our team. I had a chance to mingle with several co-workers before the company meeting. I presented for a small section, and I was able to look out over the crowd and take in all the attentive faces. I chatted with many new people at the cocktail reception before dinner and I bounced around from table to table as we ate each course. The final conclusion… my co-workers are amazing. They are conscientious, talented, funny, smart, and very committed to serving our clients. I should also add that although most conversations were positive, not every discussion was sunshine and roses. A couple issues bubbled up about how our company could improve. These conversations were my favorite because I was able to see firsthand how much my co-workers cared about the work we do and how we rally together to create solutions.
- Face to face is more important than ever – We could not have done this meeting in a virtual setting. We could not have stared at a monitor at the digitized image of 300 smiling faces and conducted this meeting on a computer. We really needed to meet face to face, and shake hands, and hug, and smile, and look each other in the eye and clink glasses and laugh out loud. Yes, it was expensive, and yes it was a lot of coordination, (I see you Hannah and LeAnne) and yes there were some opportunity costs, but in the end, we were all together and that was worth it.
- Downtown Grand Rapids is beautiful – As part of our team-building activities, the entire company took busses into downtown Grand Rapids, to walk the city streets and take in all the mind-blowing art from ArtPrize. For those who may not know, ArtPrize is an art competition and festival in Grand Rapids. Anyone can display their art, and any venue within the three-square-mile ArtPrize district can be a venue. I am a huge fan of art and ArtPrize did not disappoint, but more than the fantastic exhibits that were on display, the most impressive and vibrant attraction was the city itself and all the happy, pleasant people – and the overall vibe. If you haven’t ever been to this quaint little city in Western Michigan, I highly suggest putting it on your bucket list. You will not be disappointed.
So, there it is… five lessons that I learned from the SpendMend company meeting last week. It’s probably truer to say, five facts I had reinforced last week at the company meeting, but you get the point. It’s truly an understatement to say I am proud to work at this company. We have done a lot of great work to date and with that success comes the desire and expectation for more success. At times that can cause some stress, but I have to say there is no better cause then helping our wonderful clients deliver better patient care and there is no other group of individuals I would rather work with to achieve our mission.