When it comes to the happiness of your team and patients you can’t just hope for the best. Instead, you must deliberately shape a practice culture that places an emphasis on employee satisfaction and an exceptional patient experience. This will allow you to maximize the productivity and positivity of your staff while ensuring your patients want to continue coming to you for their dental care.
How do we know this? At Dental City we experience the magnitude of our culture’s significance every day. It’s what helps set us apart from many other businesses who on the outside may look just like us—and a well-defined and supported culture can separate your practice from competition, too.
For example, we place a large emphasis on balancing strong worth ethic and exemplary professionalism and customer service with a casual and fun office atmosphere. Flip flops and shorts are a staple of the office uniform in the summer, and frequent lunches are spent over a shared meal ordered from favorite local restaurants. Our owners are fierce supporters of physical fitness, so working out over lunch breaks in group exercise classes, on bike rides, or out hitting the pavement on run are all encouraged. It’s not uncommon to have someone rush into a meeting still in workout gear—a sure sign our onsite showers are all full of other lunch-time exercisers. Plus, we like to throw in other unexpected activities to remind employees that we value their time here: costume contests, lip sync battles, and salsa-making competitions are all common occurrences.
And you know what? We still get all our work done. But everyone on the Dental City team is a little happier to be here and even more willing to go out of their way for customer happiness.
So, while we know all of these aspects of our culture won’t fit for your practice (flip-flops probably aren’t the most dental office appropriate after all), we do believe that you can make a tremendous positive impact on your office by purposely designing and living a culture that supports your team and your goals for your practice.
If you don’t know how or where to start these questions can help get the ideas flowing:
- How you can bring your employees together at work for some fun and bonding experiences (that don’t necessarily involve work)?
- What are the common interests of your office team?
- What do employees currently say they like about the way your practice runs and what do they say could change?
- How do your patients feel when they’re in your office? Do they feel like everyone is happy to come to work and that they’re happy to be there?
- Do you have a strong culture already that you just need to build on?
- If you could describe your ideal office culture in three words what would they be?
The key to a thriving practice culture is to be deliberate about designing it and then making the purposeful effort to live the culture every day. This will help keep your office on track and make it easy to recognize when something just isn’t working. Plus, having a deep understanding of your culture will give you a sort of guide for many other decisions regarding your practice from hiring new employees to handling unhappy patients. So don’t wait. Start creating and living your ideal practice culture today.