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. 

Cashing In on Private Pay: The PTs Guide to Going Out-of-Network - Regular BannerCashing In on Private Pay: The PTs Guide to Going Out-of-Network - 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.

  • How to Attract Top Talent to Your Practice Image

    articleJan 22, 2016 | 2 min. read

    How to Attract Top Talent to Your Practice

    Every practice owner wants to hire the crème de la crème. Here’s how to get quality job candidates knocking on your door. Wouldn’t it be great to get the highest-quality job candidates lining up to work at your practice? Well, with a few tweaks to your strategy, that dream might not be that far from reality. It all has to do with curb appeal—that is, how you present your practice to potential candidates. Most companies offer competitive …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • The Unconventional Metrics You Should be Using in Rehab Therapy Performance Reviews Image

    articleJan 9, 2019 | 12 min. read

    The Unconventional Metrics You Should be Using in Rehab Therapy Performance Reviews

    Physical therapy is in a strange place right now. Burnout is rampant , the cost of education is higher than ever, and pay is stagnating at best. Talented therapists have resorted to jumping from job to job in search of an elusive salary bump. Clearly, something is broken in our current system. When experienced PTs are making less than brand-new grads because they can never seem to land a pay raise, there’s something very wrong with the …

  • 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; …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

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