Developing a strong, positive culture at your practice is an investment that will have a huge return in the long run. Take time to plan how you can accomplish this with your unique team and know that there may be setbacks along the way. Eventually, you’ll begin to see your hard work pay off and experience incredible synergy and cohesion amongst your crew.
Establish an Atmosphere of Respect
Mutual respect amongst team members and leaders within your clinic is critical to building positive culture. Encourage your employees to voice their ideas and let them put their thoughts in motion. Show your appreciation for team members’ hard work with your words and your actions. Avoid asking team members to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. Avoid hiring individuals that may disrupt the atmosphere of respect by dragging others down.
Listen First, Speak Second
Take the time to ask and listen to what your employees are experiencing: ask them how their day was, what challenges they overcame, and what successes they accomplished. Don’t assume that you know what they are going through. Communication is a two-way street, and you can learn a lot from your employees’ perspectives. There is always room for improvement when it comes to the way you communicate, but the more you listen, the more you can learn and improve. With time, your team members will recognize that you care about what they have to say and in turn they will trust you more.
Lead, Don’t Manage
There is a very distinct difference between being a manager and a leader. A manager lights a fire under someone, and a leader lights a fire inside someone. Light a fire inside your team members by sharing your passion and empowering them to take on new challenges with your guidance. Embrace a humble attitude and lead by example – no team member is unworthy of your attention; no task is too small for you. Even during your most hectic days, make sure to stay levelheaded and show your team your appreciation. Great culture starts at the top and funnels down to the entire team, so you have the power to make or break yours.
Develop Alignment Amongst Leadership
If there are multiple leaders at your hospital or you are going through a transition process, make sure you and your partner see eye to eye on practice culture. If your team senses division amongst management, then a cohesive culture will be very hard to achieve. If you are exploring selling your practice, take time to consider the culture you want your hospital to have post transition. Ask questions to better understand if the partners you are exploring will uphold the culture you’ve worked hard to build and possibly even elevate it. If you get the sense the partners you are talking to have no clear stance on culture or are not aligned with your vision, consider how this might impact you and your team in the long run before making any commitments.
Building a positive culture in your practice takes a long time, and if the mutual respect is lost, team members don’t feel heard, or management overtakes leadership, your culture could quickly see a negative shift.
If you are considering an ownership transition, let’s discuss if CareVet could be a good partner for you, your hospital, and the culture you’ve built.