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.

The PT’s Guide to Software Implementation and Training - Regular BannerThe PT’s Guide to Software Implementation and Training - Small Banner
  • 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 …

  • 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, …

  • Why Company Culture is So Important Image

    articleJan 2, 2014 | 4 min. read

    Why Company Culture is So Important

    Unless you’ve spent the last decade or so living under a rock, you’ve most definitely heard the phrase “company culture” being bandied about. And while it’s become the center of attention in many discussions about how to build a successful company, I have to wonder if everyone who talks about company culture actually understands what it means and how to create and maintain an authentic one. But we’ll get to that second point—the how—in a later post. …

  • 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 …

  • 8 Signs Your Company Culture Isn’t Up to Snuff Image

    articleJan 15, 2014 | 5 min. read

    8 Signs Your Company Culture Isn’t Up to Snuff

    Company culture impacts your employees’ happiness and thus your bottom line , and as this article points out, poor company culture leads to carelessness, neglect, sunken morale, and ultimately, a lack of growth. If that’s not motivation enough to take a long, hard look at your own practice—your business—I don’t know what is. To help facilitate this introspection, we’ve assembled some red flags to watch out for. Here are eight signs that your company culture isn’t up …

  • 3 Steps to Avoid the Bad-Hire Blues in Your Practice Image

    articleApr 14, 2016 | 6 min. read

    3 Steps to Avoid the Bad-Hire Blues in Your Practice

    Hiring the right person for your practice can be tricky, because if you want to find a true “gem,” you have to evaluate more than a person’s qualifications. You have to hire for good culture-fit , too. And unfortunately, that’s a quality you aren’t going to find on any job board—or even a resumé, for that matter. This special “it” factor is something you have to intentionally look for during the hiring process. So, why is culture …

  • 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 …

  • 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, …

  • 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 …

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