The Company You Keep

Australian Reptile ParK

Tim Faulkner, Director and General Manager of The Australian Reptile Park heads into every situation with the same energy: a healthy dose of passion and determination. He's been with the park for more than 10 years, has climbed up the ranks and is now leading by example.

In this episode, Tim reveals how the park has managed to constantly grow through its important sustainability and conservation work and reveals some of the challenges of going from 'one of the guys' to the guy in charge.

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Australian Reptile Park

Tim Faulkner runs the Australian Reptile Park on the New South Wales Central Coast. After many years of operation, he shares his biggest success, his high employee retention rates on this episode of The Company You Keep.

It was a love for animals and native wildlife that led Tim to start working at a reptile park as a young teenager, but it eventually led to him running the well-known and loved, Australian Reptile Park.

The park is well known for its conservation efforts, but many might not know much about the hard-working team behind the park who have kept it running for so many years. That’s Tim’s secret to employee retention, he says. He points out staff members who have spent more than 15 years at the park. 

“Last year there were 260,000 visitors. That's a big number. There’s 40 full-time equivalent staff. It's a big number of staff, but it's not too big and it's not too small.”

The only way a business gets to that point, he says, is by maintaining a culture that both expects results but treats each other as a family. “So, longevity is complementary. It brings with it a culture when it's governed very happily from the top that there is accountability. We do have expectations.”

“They follow because they're inspired. They see how leaders perform. They see how leaders set expectations. They see it and they want to buy into it and they believe it.”

Developing a culture with an actual vision for impact helps keep hard-working staff, says Tim. It’s no wonder the Australian Reptile Park won the New South Wales Business of the Year Award in 2018. “It really validated what we were doing, and it was an important thing for us as a team because no one person can achieve that.”

Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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