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Six pillars of a happy firm

The 'Six pillars of a happy firm' focuses on leadership's impact on team culture.

Our CEO, Sharon McClafferty, has formulated a series of building blocks that leadership can implement to help team members thrive and be happy. Sharon calls the framework 'Six Pillars of a Happy Firm' and can improve a firm's mood once implemented across your team.   

  

1. Business Plan  

High-quality team members who are capable and ambitious need a business plan to thrive. Include the organisation's long-term vision, mission, values and brand promise. Financial and non-financial milestones are essential, as is a 90-day action plan. The plan should be updated regularly and shared often. At Slipstream, we review our plan monthly as an entire team. We also recognise the achievement of objectives throughout the quarter.   

  

2. Organisational Chart 

An open and transparent organisational chart clarifies how people fit into an organisation, even in a 5-person firm where there are more roles than staff.  

As the organisation grows and new hires join, existing team members can see how that impacts their day/job/career.  

  

3. Policies  

Holiday leave, parental leave and working from home policies are underrated tools that bring clarity to a business and help team members plan and balance their work and personal lives. At Slipstream, we encourage team members to take 'real breaks' from work. Our team members work hard, and we value team members coming back refreshed and ready for the next challenge.   

  

4. Scoreboard 

Ambitious people want to win. We have found that driven employees need an individual scoreboard and one for the team. Revenue is a straightforward metric that most partners are happy to share. The high-performing firms we coach also share their profit margin; if a firm wants to double its EBIT, everyone needs to know the goals.  

  

5. Participation  

Employees need to be involved with decisions that impact them. The delivery for this could be quarterly, one-on-one catch-ups with the CEO or feedback periods after each 90-day plan. The best ideas don't only sit in the heads of the equity partners. Our non-finance team members view challenges and problems differently and bring a fresh perspective.   

  

6. Personal Relationships 

It's hard to gauge if someone is happy and engaged in their role if you don't really know them. We recommend running annual or bi-annual retreats for all team members away from the business premises. Offsites develop bonds, break down hierarchies and create plans. Bringing in an external facilitator ensures that everyone attends as equal participants. We've found the investment of our two-day retreats more than pays for itself as the next six months' results are sped up. Everyone returns to the business knowing what they need to do and is ready to get it done. Click here for inspo from our team retreats! Feel free to contact us for help planning your next team retreat.  


Regularly surveying your team can provide valuable indicators of their wellbeing, emotional state and motivation levels. Sharon firmly believes communication and clarity are vital to a team's wellbeing and suggests, "you're way better off just being transparent. Treating people like adults is key to their happiness". 

Are you ready to plan for your best?

Over two days of hands-on coaching with our expert team, you’ll walk away with an airtight business plan that will guide and motivate you to achieve more than you thought possible in your business and personal life.

Brisbane: 6 - 7 August

Brisbane: 12 - 13 September

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