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. Today, let’s consider the definition of company or organizational culture and why it matters. 

The PT’s Guide to Billing - Regular BannerThe PT’s Guide to Billing - Small Banner

Company Culture Sets the Tone

Some say company culture is quite simply a company’s personality. Others say it’s how a company gets things done. And yet still others say it’s the “beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions.” I’d argue that it is all of this and more: a company’s culture is the foundation or undercurrent upon which it bases—consciously and subconsciously—all internal and external decisions and interactions. It is the tangible and intangible aspects of an organization and the individuals who ascribe to them; it is a common belief structure that dictates the direction of the company as well as its mission and values. Every company has a culture, whether it’s actively curated—or even acknowledged—or not. And no culture is innately positive or negative, good or bad—it is all a matter of individual perspective and fit. It’s a matter of what you, your employees, your customers, and your partners want it to be.

Bad Culture = Bad Business

That being said, alignment is key. If your employees, customers, or partners believe that your culture is bad for them, it can be very bad for your business. The author of this article states that, according to the US News and World Report, a poor company culture is one of the main reasons employees are unhappy in their jobs. In other words, culture matters, and for many, it’s worth leaving a job over. And before they actually do leave, unhappy employees can cause quite the financial burden: According to this article, Gallup found that lost productivity resulting from employee disengagement costs the US more than $300 billion a year. Imagine what even a fraction of that loss could mean for a small business. If you don’t see the connection yet, consider this: Another Gallup study found that employees’ feelings about an organization can actually predict future business sales and profits.

People Perform Better When They’re Happier

The article cited above sums it all up perfectly: “People perform better when they’re happier,” and this translates directly into a better, healthier work environment and a more profitable bottom line. Just ask the authors of  the book Firms of Endearment. After researching hundreds of companies, they found that businesses loved by everyone—employees, customers, suppliers, and the community—are significantly more successful than those that are not. In fact, the companies highlighted in the book are also “wonderful for investors, returning 1025% over the past ten years, compared to only 122% for the S&P 500 and 316% for the companies profiled in the bestselling book Good to Great— companies selected purely on the basis of their ability to deliver superior returns to investors.”

Defining Your Culture

Now that you know why company culture is so important, it’s time to start thinking about your own. And there are two questions to ask yourself: What is the culture currently? And what do you want it to be? If the two answers match, then you’re doing it right. And while that doesn’t mean that all the hard work is done—you should still continue asking these question and adjusting accordingly as you grow—it does mean that you deserve a pat on the back. If the two answers don’t match—in other words, if there’s something missing—then it’s time to hit the whiteboard.

Either way, stay tuned to our blog this month to learn everything you’ll ever want to know about culture, including how to identify and foster the right company culture for your practice, how to avoid potential culture pitfalls, and how to document and share your culture with your employees and the world. We’ll also discuss WebPT’s very own culture creation process and provide you with a ton of fantastic company culture examples for inspiration. Check back frequently. Trust me; you won’t want to miss a thing.

  • 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 …

  • How to Create an Employee Recognition Program that Works Image

    articleJan 28, 2016 | 2 min. read

    How to Create an Employee Recognition Program that Works

    Forget about employee-of-the-month parking spots. Here’s how to give your employees the appreciation they really want. As a leader, it’s up to you to keep your staff happy and motivated. One of the easiest—but most often overlooked—ways to do that is through something I call Active Appreciation. Receiving recognition for a job well done feels good—we all know this. And a little intentional appreciation—above and beyond high-fives and gold stars—can go a long way toward increasing employee …

  • Year of the Monkey? More Like Year of Metrics Image

    articleJan 7, 2016 | 7 min. read

    Year of the Monkey? More Like Year of Metrics

    Welcome to 2016! As we kick off another year of informative blog content, the Chinese zodiac calendar also resets—and 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. Those born in monkey years—including yours truly—are said to possess such character traits as cleverness and curiosity. We monkeys are playful, and we thrive on challenge. The monkey is just one of 12 Chinese zodiac signs, though, and each sign has its own characteristics. (You want to research your sign now, …

  • 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 …

  • The No-Stress Formula to Successful Hiring Image

    articleJan 25, 2016 | 2 min. read

    The No-Stress Formula to Successful Hiring

    Does the pressure of filling an open job position have you sweating bullets? Matching a candidate’s skills and abilities to a particular role is no easy feat, but my hiring process strategy can help you shed some of the stress. Physical therapists have a process for just about everything—except hiring. And not having a comprehensive hiring process can be costly for your practice—not only in terms of money, but also with respect to morale. After all, there’s …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

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