Every company has a culture, whether it’s intentional or not. The best companies build their culture intentionally around their unique value. Successful companies know their value and communicate it well to their employees and target clients, thus creating a strong presence in the market.
Ideally, the owner of any company thinks long and hard about the company’s vision and mission at the time of its founding. Great companies are born out of a passion to meet a specific market need in a unique way. By embodying that unique value, the company builds a successful brand. In order to successfully identify the company’s particular value, the owner must determine theUnique Value Proposition (UVP). The UVP should answer the following question: Why should your ideal customer purchase from you over anyone else?
Once the owner determines the UVP and crafts a value proposition statement describing it, he or she needs to effectively communicate that value to everyone involved in the business. Internally, partners and employees need to know the company’s UVP. Every employee needs to identify with the UVP in order to be a good fit. Ideal employees will be attracted to a company because the employee’s UVP aligns with the company’s.
As an example, my company’s UVP is: “We listen to you and partner with you in your recovery.” In order to bring this value to life, everything I do in my business involves treating the client as a partner. I spend time getting to know my patients and their likes and dislikes, work, family dynamics, and hobbies. I understand the pressures they face at work and home, which may affect their recovery from illness or injury. I also spend a good deal of time educating my patients about their conditions as well as addressing overall lifestyle issues that impact recovery. I speak with their physicians and other members of their healthcare team (e.g., their personal trainer, Pilates instructor, or massage therapist) to coordinate care. These efforts match my company’s culture of listening and partnering.
It is vital for me to make sure that every interaction my patients have with my company reflects that culture; otherwise, the patient will be dissatisfied. Thus, all of my employees must embody a culture of listening and partnering. The person who answers my phones must be able to listen to the patient and convey empathy while effectively explaining our policies and procedures. A therapist in my company must see the value in partnering with the patient versus using standard protocols and a “one-size-fits-all” treatment philosophy. For the company culture to truly thrive, every member of my team must be a good fit. If an employee is not a good fit, there will always be tension and frustration as an owner tries unsuccessfully to mold that employee into someone who embodies the UVP.
When we are clear about our UVP from the beginning, we create a company of happy employees who successfully meet the needs of our target population. And that’s a win for everyone.