You may have heard much discussion about company culture in the past few years. A company’s culture is its personality; ideally, it’s one of support, respect, acceptance, trust, honesty, and shared goals for a successful future.
Some companies spend a lot of time and energy working to improve the internal culture, while others shrug it off as some buzz-word, feel-good, unimportant marketing concept that doesn’t really make a difference. (Those companies would be incorrect!)
A strong company culture, in which people feel confident in their abilities, respected in their goals and ambitions, supported in their efforts, and appreciated for all they are and all they do, maintains and retains long-term employees. It’s a work environment in which bad days or difficult situations are addressed and handled as a team, with mistakes corrected and used as teaching moments, and in which wins of all sizes are celebrated.
If your company culture isn’t quite up to that level, or you’re not sure what your company culture quite looks like, here are ways to make some changes and improvements.
Encourage your employees to connect with each other.
In a busy medical office or healthcare environment, unlike more “traditional” office settings, setting aside or creating time for your employees to take breaks together or get to know their colleagues on different shifts might be difficult. But try to find ways for your team to share ideas, stories, and even treats with their coworkers occasionally. By getting to know each other, even just a little, your employees will feel part of a bigger, more cohesive team, with everyone pulling together for the same results. It helps build trust, improve communication, and boost morale.
Company culture can take a hit if employees feel they’re being kept in the dark about something. If one team hears news or a rumor about something, and another group doesn’t know anything about it, that can breed frustration and a lack of trust. The same goes for feedback and direct communication: If your team can freely and, if needed, confidentially speak with you honestly about their concerns and their ideas for making changes, it instills a sense of trust, autonomy, and investment in your office and their team. By sharing the same information across all teams simultaneously, and working in the open to address concerns before they become problems, you’re building a more robust culture in which people trust the information they have.
Give credit where it’s due.
It’s incredible how much of a difference it can make to thank and celebrate employees for doing a great job. While in healthare, most people pursue this field to help others; it’s still nice to acknowledge someone’s hard work. These are not easy jobs and they can take a toll on your team; pointing out when someone has gone above and beyond for a patient, or provided special or additional services because it was the right thing to do, you’re not only showing appreciation to the person who deserves it, you’re telling the whole office that people are valued, treated well and that no one is invisible or taken for granted.
Support mental health.
Healthcare jobs can be draining. No matter what kind of work you do, there are highs and lows, and a day can contain both quickly. Be aware of the morale in your group. If people are feeling burned out, or are tired from having to accommodate extra work in light of someone’s absence or illness, do what you can to boost them up, give them a break, find a way to help fill staffing shortages, etc. (One great way to provide extra help is to bring in temporary employees — AMEA Healthcare can help with that very quickly!) Provide resources for your employees who need assistance to better care for themselves — after all, caregivers can’t help take care of others if they don’t first care for themselves.
Offer opportunities to grow.
If people feel they have a chance to learn new skills and continue to advance their careers, they’re more likely to feel positively toward their work environment. If they feel like things are the way they are and nothing will ever change, morale can dip and culture can suffer. Try to find ways to encourage mentorship and job shadowing, so your team can become cross-trained and learn how to help each other while adding to their skills. This also helps foster leadership among your team, especially if you practice promoting from within — another incentive for people to stay within your office and learn all they can!
A company’s culture can significantly affect how long employees stay in their jobs. Poor company culture leads to higher turnover, weaker retention, and a damaged reputation that can make it harder to find qualified candidates for new openings. On the other hand, a robust, healthy, supportive, and positive culture makes your healthcare office a place people are happy to go to work every day.
If you’re looking for tips on improving your company culture or need to bring in new employees, call AMEA Healthcare. Our team is standing by to help your team stay healthy and strong — just like your clients!