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.

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  • 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, …

  • Culture Advice from the Greats Image

    articleJan 8, 2014 | 5 min. read

    Culture Advice from the Greats

    Looking for some pointers to help make your company culture great? Well, look no further. We’ve assembled some fantastic culture advice from the greats. Here are four of the top tips: 1. Document Your Values Senior Writer Charlotte Bohnett will cover how to document your values in a later post, but here’s an anecdote that demonstrates why writing things down is important—especially as your practice grows: “TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie remembers a time when everyone would say …

  • How to Hire for Fit Image

    articleJan 21, 2016 | 2 min. read

    How to Hire for Fit

    How can you find those elusive job candidates who truly are the right fit for your practice? When it comes to building a successful PT practice, hiring good employees isn’t just important; it’s essential. But finding the right candidate for each job often is one of the biggest challenges practice owners face. Why is it so difficult to find someone who’s the right fit? Many times, it’s because finding the perfect person for the job means looking …

  • Four Ways to Fix a Broken Company Culture Image

    articleJan 16, 2014 | 6 min. read

    Four Ways to Fix a Broken Company Culture

    So, you read yesterday’s post , and maybe, just maybe, a red flag—or eight—jumped out at you, felt a little too familiar, or possibly even gave you the chills. And now, you’re beginning to worry because you’re seeing signs that your culture isn’t up to snuff everywhere—in your front office and your treatment area, with your suppliers and your patients. Well, set your worries aside. Of course, a less-than-stellar culture isn’t ideal, but there’s still hope—and time—to …

  • The Most Important Benefit for Your Employees Image

    articleJan 27, 2016 | 2 min. read

    The Most Important Benefit for Your Employees

    Ensure your employees stick with you by giving them what they desire most. Regardless of industry, top-notch employees are in high demand. When you find a quality staff member—whether that employee is a tech or therapist—you want to hang on to him or her. But retaining high-quality team members is tricky, and if you fail to do so, your business certainly will suffer. Nowadays, there’s a ton of talk about developing the most attractive benefit packages—that is, …

  • 6 Steps to Giving Meaningful Feedback in the Workplace Image

    articleSep 26, 2016 | 7 min. read

    6 Steps to Giving Meaningful Feedback in the Workplace

    Feedback is a funny thing. Everyone loves to receive it, but no one likes to give it. And that spells trouble. Because without feedback, there is no improvement; and without improvement, relationships fail—especially in business. After all, employees leave managers, not companies . That’s right; at the end of the day, employees disengage and eventually quit because of poor relationships with their coworkers and leaders. And the root cause of that failed partnership often is feedback—or lack …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

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