When I refer to a healthy practice, I am referring to a practice that has minimal politics, clarity for all team members, positivity throughout the day and a low turnover rate of team members. You can have a practice that follows every rule for success for production, cash flow, schedule success and patient retention but without having a healthy practice as well, you will never actually be successful.
These soft skills don’t produce a measurable Return on Investment yet without these skills you will find that your office is missing its mark. You may realize that you need a culture change in your office and whether you think it is everyone else and not you, without a detailed plan starting at the top, your office culture will continue to have the same problems continuously.
The cost of poor organizational health can be devastating to a practice. The price includes coming to work miserable every day for you and your team. You can’t just snap your fingers and change your culture. You must plan it, and don’t expect changes overnight, stick to it and you will find it seeping into all areas of your practice.
Keep your plan simple so you can stick with it:
- Involve your key team members – yourself, operations manager, and if you have department heads. Make a clear plan, as every leader needs to show a difference in attitude and the way they go through their days. Discuss the items that you decide to hold each other accountable for – it maybe hellos, goodbyes, please and thank you – the way we sometimes talk to our family members or take them for granted can happen at work too.
- Discuss changes from negativity from positivity – be upfront with those in your office projecting negativity, as they are bringing down the whole team and sucking the energy out of your office.
- Bring a NO complaining rule to your office – complaining shouldn’t be a method of communication it should have a solution attached.
If you don’t change yourself, you can’t expect to see changes in your team either.
Create and communicate clarity with protocols and team handbooks so that the team knows what is expected of them. Leaving any items open to interpretation will almost always bring you to the lowest level of compliance.
Reinforce Clarity along the way, don’t give up at the first, second or third roadblock. Those who don’t like it will feel uncomfortable and will either leave the office or change, no one likes to feel uncomfortable, everyone wants to feel that they belong.
Creating a positive culture does not mean that it’s rainbows and unicorns all day or constantly buying(bribing) your team.
- Pay fair and competitive wages
- If you are looking for an increase in production provide an incentive program for the team – not just extra money for doing your job
- Make a conscious effort to do some team building each month on a more social level. A group/family hike, Two Truths and a Lie on a whiteboard, some sort of group challenge or a daily wordle contest
- The team gets the same five-star VIP treatment as the patients.
- Spread an attitude of gratitude, discover a way for you and the team to show gratitude in an organized manner each and every day, you can read up on programs and design your own program similar to Cheers for Peers or writing Gratitude Notes
Changing your culture can be difficult, it means looking at yourself and those around you and figuring out how to engage as many team members as possible to make your practice healthy and productive.