Companies like that may have the advantage of a large budget, but even a small medical practice can create an office culture to rival the big boys, one where employees love to come to work and that enjoyment reflects in all of their patient interactions.
- Define your practice: First, decide what type of practice and work culture you want. Envision desired interactions between your staff and patients. How do you want your staff to view your practice and their jobs. Once you know what you want for your practice, have a group meeting. Explain your goals so that everyone can work toward the same objective.
- Hire people who complement the work culture you want to build: Yes, skills are important, but when hiring new staff members, you also have to look at how the person will fit into the overall culture you are trying to build. Will their attitude and personality bring other staff members together or create a division in your practice.
- Communicate: Always encourage open lines of communication with your staff. Take time to ask them what they do and don’t like about their jobs, and be responsive. Improve where you can, and if there is a problem area that can’t be changed, be open and clear about why. When there are things your staff likes, focus even more effort there to build on your success.
- Celebrate: To bring your staff closer together, celebrate! Birthdays, holidays, and goal achievements are all opportunities to make things fun and memorable. Don’t just do the same old cake and song routine. For a birthday, order balloons to be delivered with a singing telegram. Have a pumpkin carving contest for your Halloween party. Hide Easter eggs around the office with rewards like a massage or an extra day off for your staff to find. For Christmas, what about an ugly holiday sweater contest?
- Reward success but learn from failure: Praise successes, and say thank you as often as possible to your staff for keeping your practice running smoothly. And, just as important, treat any failures or bumps in the road as a learning experience. By accepting failure as part of the learning curve, you signal to your staff that you are open to new ideas, making them more likely to try new things to help improve your practice.
- Take it out of the office: Finally, remember that a great office work culture doesn’t end at work. Making time for your staff to get together outside of the office for things like a picnic, a Christmas party, or even a quick lunch promotes bonding and increases their ability to work through problems as a team.
Building a great medical practice work culture takes time, but it can be a fun experience and a way to increase employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately improving patient interactions and your bottom line. For other strategies to improve the patient experience, download 10 Powerful Ways to Engage Patients.
About the Author
Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.