In 2011, the entire WebPT team sat in a conference room (we were a much smaller team back then) to reflect on the previous year—what we did well, what we wanted to improve upon, and what our goals were for the new year. One of those goals? Define and document who we were and wanted to be as a company. In other words, our company culture.

So, the following year, in that same conference room, we poured WebPT’s heart and soul out onto a giant whiteboard and distilled that down to our core values. From there, we developed our team commitments and documented them in a handbook every new hire receives during training. Today, we all know each and every commitment backwards and forwards. They are guiding principles in our hiring criteria, performance review process, strategic planning, and pretty much every decision that we make at WebPT.

And we aren’t the only ones focusing on company culture. Over the last decade, company culture has become much more than merely a buzzword; it’s become a heavily researched business strategy. As WebPT writer Erica Cohen points out in this blog post: “According to this article, Gallup found that lost productivity resulting from employee disengagement costs the US more than $300 billion a year...Another Gallup study found that employees’ feelings about an organization can actually predict future business sales and profits.” And if that’s not persuasive enough, this should be: I’m currently reading Firms of Endearment, which thoroughly examines the effect of company culture on business. The book’s authors demonstrate how businesses that are loved by their employees, customers, suppliers, and community (basically, everyone) are more successful (read: profitable) than those that aren’t universally adored.

The research clearly shows how crucial company culture is to a business, and that includes rehab therapy practices. Now more than ever—in this age of regulatory change, reimbursement uncertainty, and compliance anxiety—it’s easy to become burdened by our own fears and lose sight of what we ultimately want to achieve in our practices. That’s why it’s imperative we take the time to define and document our rehab practice’s core values. Reflecting on your clinic’s beliefs, goals, and leadership styles provides a foundation upon which you can establish clear expectations. This allows your team to blossom and flourish personally and professionally, thus, improving retention, and ultimately, helping you to grow your business. In short, the culture you establish will set the tone for your practice’s business going forward. After all, happy, loyal employees are better employees, which in turn creates improved patient interactions.

By documenting our culture, we have not only set the stage for our employees to flourish, but also helped define our brand to the world. This year, I’m challenging you all to do the same for your clinics, and we’re here to help. After all, it is The Year of the Employee. That’s why this month’s blog and webinar theme is Cultivating Company Culture for Your Practice. We’ll define company culture and share a plethora of helpful advice, including how to establish your core values, how to document your culture, how to hire for cultural fit, and how to share your culture online and with your community. I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2014.

Speech-Language Pathologist Salary Guide - Regular BannerSpeech-Language Pathologist Salary Guide - Small Banner
  • Up and Leave: What to Do When a Therapist Quits Image

    articleJun 26, 2018 | 5 min. read

    Up and Leave: What to Do When a Therapist Quits

    Breakups are never easy. Even if it’s an amicable split, it’s hard not to look back on your time together and wonder what could’ve been. But here’s the good news: if you approach a breakup from a place of maturity and wisdom, you can learn some valuable lessons and apply them to your next relationship. Of course, the relationship I’m referring to in this post is the one between a rehab therapy practice manager and his or …

  • Train to Retain: Why Employee Training is the Key to High Retention Rates Image

    articleJan 26, 2016 | 2 min. read

    Train to Retain: Why Employee Training is the Key to High Retention Rates

    New employee training is the foundation for high retention. Here’s how to start newbies off on the right foot. You put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into finding and hiring great employees. So, it makes sense to do your darndest to keep them at your practice for as long as possible. What you might not realize is that the path to high staff retention actually begins at the end of the hiring process (that is, …

  • 5 Common Performance Review Methods Image

    articleJan 13, 2016 | 4 min. read

    5 Common Performance Review Methods

    In her Founder Letter this month, Dr. Heidi Jannenga talked about reviewing work performance and providing feedback to the staff in your rehab therapy clinic, stressing the importance of creating consistent and fair performance reviews. While rounds of applause and pats on the back are great, they can’t compete with detailed and data-based evaluations. But if you’ve never provided your staff with formal performance reviews, you may not know your options for doing so. To give you …

  • Cultivating Company Culture in Your Practice Image

    webinarJan 30, 2014

    Cultivating Company Culture in Your Practice

    “Culture” is fast becoming a buzzword in the business world. Not only does it help top companies hire—and retain—quality talent, but also it’s emerging as one of the best indicators of and reasons for success. In this month’s webinar, find out: Why culture is such a big deal for businesses How you can establish and maintain the right one for your practice How to hire for cultural fit Ways to demonstrate your culture online and in your …

  • Identifying Your Rehab Therapy Practice’s Core Values Image

    articleJan 13, 2014 | 6 min. read

    Identifying Your Rehab Therapy Practice’s Core Values

    As we pointed out in previous posts this month, every company has a culture—whether they know it or not. That culture might not be a great one or even a good one, but it definitely exists. If that’s the case, then why are so many people unsure about their companies’ cultures? I’m guessing that 1.) from the employees’ perspective it’s not a great place to work, so they assume there is no culture, or 2.) no one …

  • Founder Letter: The 8 Toughest Things You'll Have to Do as the Boss Image

    articleJul 7, 2016 | 9 min. read

    Founder Letter: The 8 Toughest Things You'll Have to Do as the Boss

    Whether you manage one or two employees, or sit at the helm of a multi-clinic chain, being the boss is challenging. And based on what I’ve learned in my own experience as both a clinic director and a tech executive, being a good boss is as much about leaning into the tough situations as it is letting go of what we can’t control. So, what difficult scenarios have I had to lean into—and let go of? Here …

  • 5 Company Culture Must-Haves Image

    articleJan 9, 2014 | 6 min. read

    5 Company Culture Must-Haves

    Company culture is kind of like a fingerprint—every business has one, and no two are exactly alike. And while no company culture is inherently good or bad—as Erica Cohen points out in this blog post —there are certain cultural characteristics that are common to the world’s most productive and successful businesses. Here’s a list of five culture must-haves: 1. Collaboration. Nothing destroys a team faster than cutthroat competition among teammates. If you can cut the tension in …

  • Can You Hear Me Now? The Physical Therapist's Guide to Giving and Receiving Feedback at Work Image

    webinarJan 5, 2016

    Can You Hear Me Now? The Physical Therapist's Guide to Giving and Receiving Feedback at Work

    Feedback: everyone wants it. Professional feedback, in particular, helps us become better employees, managers, peers, and providers. It’s mission-critical when it comes to improving patient care and exceeding business objectives. Why, then, are we rarely getting the feedback we need or giving others the feedback they deserve? And when we do deliver feedback, why doesn’t it always have the desired effect? On January 26, Dr. Heidi Jannenga will team up with special guest and renowned leadership coach …

  • Employee Engagement: Your Most Important Business Initiative Image

    articleJul 5, 2018 | 5 min. read

    Employee Engagement: Your Most Important Business Initiative

    What single business initiative can make your employees want to work harder for you, while inspiring them to be happier than ever with their jobs? Hint: The answer is not more money . The answer is increasing employee engagement . This is possibly the single most important part of an owner or manager’s duties. To tackle this job, we must start with creating unparalleled company culture . Wikipedia defines company culture as “the character of the organization; …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.