The idea of caricatures of our teams started in 2020 at our team strategy retreat. We had originally wanted to get cartoon artists to come to the retreat to sketch each of our people while we were working, but we couldn’t find someone to do it on site.
And so, we went with the next best thing and that was to get them done as a surprise and gift them to the team at the retreat. An online supplier who could draw our caricatures from photos that we supplied. We found Herbert, a caricature artist, on Upwork, gave him photos and a bunch of points of interest about each of our people – their favourite colour, their hobbies and interests, what they drank – all those lovely little quirky factors that we knew about each of our people. And he created these amazing caricatures that brought all of that together to show a bit of their personality.
So, Jess has her purple shirt with Keith Urban on it, Alisa has funky earrings and her country style shirt, Naomi is in her heels and holding a red wine … Everyone’s caricature shows something about who they are and what we’d come to know and love about them as unique individuals.
The team loved them and we decided that we needed to display them in the office. So, we got a second copy made up to hang on the walls along with a big group picture.
And now it’s become a fun tradition that when someone joins the team, one of their welcome gifts is their caricature. Ideally, we love to have this done before they even start with us so that it’s there on day one. Of course, that means that we have to stalk them on social media to try to get photos to provide to our artist and we’re constantly on the lookout for little bits of information that we find out about the person through the recruitment process. Whether it is the fact that they have animals, (which is why Amie has big Alsatians in in her image) or the kind of car that they like, or the types of hobbies they enjoy. So, we’re looking for those things that are little insights into the individual that help us to personalise that caricature for them when they start. Each time a new person starts in our team, that caricature goes up on the wall and our group image grows.
When someone leaves our team, they are given the caricature to take with them as one of the fond memories that they get to take away from their time with Focus HR.
So, these are more than just fun images. That was what they started as. But they also speak to our personality as a business. It is really easy in professional services to take things too seriously. But that just isn’t the way that we operate. That’s not our team culture. Our culture is to take your work seriously but not yourself. We have to be able to have a laugh about ourselves with each other. We have to be able to do share a joke about the quirks of our personalities. And these caricatures show everyone that walks into our office, that there is a quirky, fun, different side to us that they might not otherwise realise.
They also speak to our belief that when people join our team, it is the whole person that is joining. We don’t expect people to turn up purely as a ‘brain’. We want to get to know them and we value the things that make them unique. These caricatures remind us of our quirks and interests beyond our professional characters and honours the whole person with whom we are engaging and working alongside.
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