White Cross has grown under the management of Tim Harrison into a very large practice with 170 people working for them across 16 centres. Tim, who is not a vet, runs the business in partnership with his Dad, Craig, who is a vet and who founded the business. Wellbeing is embedded throughout the practice with a dedicated ‘Engagement and Development Manager’, Ed Newbould.
White Cross boss, Tim Harrison believes bosses have a moral obligation to look after their people, but he also knows that at a time when there is a shortage of experienced vets and nurses, wellbeing is good for business. He wants White Cross to be a practice people want to come and work for and where turnover is low. Team members (Tim never uses the word ‘staff’) are made to feel valued from their very first day at work when they will receive a personal call from the boss (even if he’s on holiday on the other side of the world).
There is an annual 3 day Congress with entertainment; everyone gets a day off and a cake on their birthday, and where at all possible no one works more than a 40 hour week. If they do work longer, they are awarded time off rather than more money.
Over the past 3 years, everyone at White Cross has attended a CPD event in the South of France, starting with the receptionists in year one, then the nurses and finally the vets. Tim admits that he and his management team scour the internet and newspapers for new ideas. White Cross have been in the Sunday Times list of best companies to work for and Tim says he has unashamedly copied some of his initiatives from others on the list. For instance, at Easter, every child under the age of 18 belonging to a member of the White Cross team is sent a personalised Easter Egg.