The secret to scaling your healthcare practice? Build a strong culture
Great people and culture will differentiate your practice from the rest.
Whether you’re just beginning your practice ownership journey or already leading an established practice, taking stock of your culture (or the culture you want to create) is vital to the growth and success of your practice. Not sure where to start? Surround yourself with people who care about your mission as much as you do.
What is culture? Management expert Marvin Bowen captures culture simply: It’s “the way we do things around here.” Culture can also be described as what it feels like to work somewhere. And while culture lives within your organization, it can often be felt by outsiders, too. (Think: How do your patients feel during an experience at your dental practice or veterinary hospital?)
To build and sustain a positive culture, consider the following tips from Provide Chief Business Officer Andrew Bennett. Since joining the company in early 2015 as the third hire of co-founders Dan Titcomb and James Bachmeier III, Andrew has been instrumental in shaping Provide’s culture.
Hire great people, and don’t compromise. Bring in people who embody your values. When interviewing for an open role, ask the candidate questions that solicit stories and anecdotes that demonstrate if they align with your values. For example, instead of asking “Are you empathetic?,” try “How would you help a frustrated patient calling about a potential billing error?” With the labor shortage, it may feel easier to hire the first person you interview who seems qualified enough to do the job, but avoid the temptation — your culture will thank you later. To find the right people for your dental practice or veterinary hospital, network for your staff and foster the right environment.
Nurture relationships. Purposefully build a strong rapport with each member of your team. Check in regularly on topics unrelated to work (hobbies, interests, family, etc.). By demonstrating care and building trust, you’ll ensure your team is inspired to move the business forward — and this foundation will make future work-related conversations easier. Celebrate wins, big and small, by taking the time to acknowledge great work (even when you’re busy). This goes a long way in keeping inspiration fresh and strong.
Reiterate your mission, vision, and values often. By regularly communicating your practice’s “why,” you’ll keep your team members inspired — and you won’t need to spend time motivating them to get things done. And, when team members are aligned, it will be easier to propel the business forward. Research by Deloitte found that 76% of employees believe that a “clearly defined business strategy” helps create a positive culture. Communicate your mission, vision, and values on day one of employment. Then continue reiterating to your existing team where you’re headed, how you want to get there, and why it’s a worthy pursuit.
So, how do you spot a subpar culture? Ask yourself: Are there interpersonal politics within your office? What factors do team members use to make decisions? Are they motivated by receiving credit or avoiding blame, rather than what’s best for the patient or practice? Do their actions suggest the belief that something beyond their responsibilities “isn’t their problem”? These issues don’t always indicate a systemic problem with your culture, but they could indicate cracks in the foundation.
Tip: One (not-so-obvious) way to measure the health of a culture is through a simple litmus test: Given the opportunity, are people describing the culture and the heart of the business in the same way? How do they describe their working environment, their relationships with teammates, and how it feels to work there? If you’re hearing similar descriptions across your team (whether positive or negative), it’s likely you have a strong, consistent culture.
At Provide, we pride ourselves on the incredible quality of our people. If you’re looking to finance your dream practice with experienced and dedicated people who are passionate about your success and will be by your side every step of the way, visit getprovide.com and get pre-qualified.
This content is for informational purposes and does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice or other professional services by Provide or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.
All lending is subject to review and approval. Provide, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, National Association.