Once upon a time, people would go to work, perform their duties, clock out, and go home. It was a very clear-cut dynamic that lasted through the ages; an accepted fact of life. No one really ever stopped to question the way things were done, simply because that’s the way they’d always been done. But then, the millennial generation came along. And with them came a lot of thought-provoking questions about fulfillment and quality of life. After all, most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Shouldn’t their place of employment be a place they enjoy? That’s where company culture comes in. And before you shake your head with thoughts of is it worth it, think about your own company’s turnover rate. Turns out, fostering a positive company culture is good for your team and for your business.
What is company culture?
Company culture is an umbrella term that encompasses various aspects of a business. As a starting point, think about your company’s mission. What should be everyone’s north, above anything else? The whole point of starting a business is to offer services and make a profit. Sure. But you have to dig deeper than that and consider crucial elements, such as:
- A sense of community
- Open communication
- Recognizing individual accomplishments
- Celebrating special events
- Fostering a work/life balance
- Involving the entire team in creating processes
In short, company culture is your business’ personality. Is it enjoyable or highly stressful and miserable? If the components listed above are already present in your organization, congratulations! You have a good thing going on, and you’re likely aware of its benefits. However, if some or all of these factors are missing from your practice, it’s time to take a step back and make an honest assessment of how things are going. Do you often find yourself commiserating with other entrepreneurs about how hard it is to find a good team? Do you take a deep breath every other month when yet another employee gives their two-weeks notice? It’s time to ask yourself why — because honestly, you are the common denominator.
Why is company culture important?
Company culture is invaluable for businesses across the board — including healthcare practices. While it offers a long list of advantages, the most common ones include:
1. Happier Employees
In previous generations, it was common to get a job, work there for 40 years, and retire. In today’s world, the average person switches jobs about 12 times during their lifetime. This leaves employers with two huge headaches to deal with — having to go through a grueling interviewing process to find a suitable replacement, and the costs of training the new person. And while there are things you can’t control — such as a team member wishing to look for new horizons — the fact remains that a lot of great employees simply quit because they’re unhappy at work. Prioritizing your employees’ happiness will increase longevity and reduce costs for your business.
2. Environment of Trust
Raise your hand if you like to be micromanaged. I didn’t think so and what makes you think that your team does? The reality is that once you’re hiring at a level that requires a certain level of education, talent, and marketable skills, you have to trust that they know what they’re doing — and that they’re getting it done. This also goes hand in hand with your leadership team being approachable. Promoting such a relationship ensures that if your employees have a question, they feel comfortable enough going to upper management for clarification — instead of cowering behind their desks because they don’t want to be chewed up or dismissed.
3. More Productive Team
At the end of the day, you want your team to work like a well-oiled machine. And nothing is more important for this to happen than for your employees to feel appreciated and valued. How often do you listen to their feedback? How comfortable do they feel approaching you with comments, questions, or concerns? How involved are they when creating processes that affect them on a daily basis? When all of these things are prioritized, employees actually work harder.
4. Competitive Advantage
Think of all of the factors mentioned above — a happier team, reduced company costs, more productivity … see where we’re going here? When you have a good company culture, and when people feel comfortable coming up with suggestions for making things more efficient, you open the door to creativity and innovation — components that are crucial to make you stand out from the competition.
5. Happier Customers/Patients
Think back to a time when you’ve gone to a medical appointment, only to be greeted by an unhappy person. While it’s possible they may have been grumpy because of personal circumstances, how a person generally interacts with others at their place of employment is directly related to how they feel about being there. The reality is that patients are more likely to return to your practice — and recommend it to their friends and family — if they encountered pleasant employees. In addition, happier team members means more efficiency. No one’s passing the buck or trying to second guess what they’re supposed to do because they’re already aware of (a) how to best perform their duties, or (b) whom to ask for assistance. Patients aren’t left waiting, frustrated, or feeling like they just had a mediocre experience.
6. Better Business Reputation
Guess what else potential clients look for when choosing a healthcare practice? Reviews. And when a lead does an online search of your business, they’ll be able to find critiques and commentary from both past clients and previous employees. You know what else is more likely when people like you? Nominations for business awards. Whether it’s a Best Place to Work accolade or Best Pediatric Services in the Area, this online presence speaks volumes about your business.
7. Higher Overall Satisfaction
Now, let’s think about the bigger picture. Let’s say you have a low turnover rate, fun celebrations at work (even in times of COVID), a team you can trust to do their job even when you’re out of town, and a long list of returning clients (and the higher profit margin that goes along with it) who could spend their lives waxing poetic about how much they love your practice. How are you going to feel about it?
How does displaying your company culture on social media impact your leads?
Seven out of 10 Americans are on social media. Therefore, sharing your company culture on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram will play a huge role in how the public perceives you — both to potential leads and job applicants.
Posting frequently enough — whether it’s pictures or videos of recent office events or celebrations — allows people to get to know your business. It builds trust. It shows real people behind a logo. It makes people want to join your team and attend your Thanksgiving potluck. And it provides regular opportunities for the public to engage with your business through comments, likes, and shares. Use these platforms to start a conversation. That way, when they need your services in the future, you’ll be top of mind.