This article posted in Utah Valley Business Q
For employees, Solutionreach is the solution to workforce woes.
So what’s their big idea? The idea itself.
“A strong culture means the idea always wins,” says Jim Higgins, founder and CEO of the Lehi company. “It doesn’t matter where the idea comes from — who cares? If it’s a great idea, we’ll implement it. We just want to win.”
And that’s not just pretty talk. It’s pretty policy.
“The idea always wins,” says art director Taylor Hinton, in a separate interview. “Taking credit for something is not encouraged — it’s ignored.”
What can’t be ignored is Solutionreach’s success. The multi-million dollar company, which specializes in patient relationship management technology, has been around since 2000, grown to 500-plus employees, and connects 100 million patients with their doctors every day.
“The global health care IT market is massive, and there is no shortage of problems we have to solve,” Higgins says. “But we’re not doing it to ring a bell on the IPO. We’re doing it because we believe in the problems we’re solving. Our employees believe in the problems we’re solving.”
BusinessQ sat down with the problem solvers to see their reach first-hand. Here are their 10 brightest and boldest ideas for a cohesive company.
Idea #1: Stay scrappy
Keep the good from the “good old days.”
“When we were first starting out, it cost us $15 a month for the water bottle in the office,” Higgins says. “Then we had to cancel it because it was too expensive. (laughs) The beginnings of a company are filled with days that are crappy — but they make you scrappy. They make employees rally around the cause. We’ve tried to remember our roots and keep that scrappiness as we’ve grown.”
Idea #2: Name-changer
Employees are so 1999.
“We don’t have employees. We have solutionaries,” Higgins says. “We even defined the term. It’s solution + revolutionary. It’s employees who are driven — employees who work hard in a culture that is passionate. We’re solving hard problems, and our team is unique. We needed a term that recognizes their passion and skill.”
Idea #3: Personal touch
At Solutionreach, business isn’t just business. It’s personal.
“Everything is personal. We are here all the time, and it’s OK to embrace that. This is life. Let’s make it matter,” Higgins says. “Managing by metrics is critical, but you can get too caught up in the numbers. It’s about people. Be a friend. If you make it too hierarchical, people won’t be able to approach you. I’m Jim. They can call me Jim or CEO or whatever. But management teams cannot be unapproachable.”
“Everyone respects Jim — no one fears him,” says Sid Ewing, senior director of marketing.
Idea #4: Non-compete clause
The “idea always wins” has led to an environment of support and growth.
“We hire the best there is and strive to improve each other,” Hinton says. “I have a team of designers who could out-design me on any given day, and I love them for it.”
“Great people build great people,” Higgins adds.
Idea #5: Finish what you start
“We have two awards we give out every quarter, and the criteria is simple. First, if no one else is around, would you give yourself a fist pump? And second, be a finisher. Everyone starts projects — very few actually finish them. We finish things around here.”
Idea #6: Build entrepreneurs
The solution is clear.
“We want to be transparent,” Higgins says. “We want to pass on business knowledge and create an environment where people learn and care about what they’re doing.”
But is Higgins just building up his future competition? He can only hope.
“We want to build entrepreneurs here,” he says. “If our employees go off and build their own companies, patterning their culture off of what they learned here, that’s a win. That’s a company legacy that excites me.”
Idea #7: Give back
Giving back is the Solutionreach way. For the past three years, the company has sponsored the SolutionRun, which supports the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
“Life is about giving back and helping others,” Higgins says. “Everything else is noise.”
Idea #8: Talk of the team
It’s a cliché for a reason, people.
“It’s all about team,” Higgins says. “They are the ones who will drive your vision forward because you can’t do it alone. You can’t duplicate your efforts — and you shouldn’t duplicate your efforts.”
Idea #9: Work perks
The Lehi company has a great office with all the perks — cool break rooms, a basketball hoop, a foosball table and a soda fountain that runneth over.
“We have a great gym,” Ewing says. “And a great Jim.”
Idea #10: Work with a purpose
Culture comes from a greater purpose. All the perks in the world won’t mean anything if employees aren’t connected in ideas and ideals.
“If you’re looking for a job, we don’t want you. If you’re looking to make a lasting difference, you’ll fit right in,” Higgins says. “At Solutionreach, we’re building something that can last. We’re not perfect, but we want to be.”