Creating a strong, positive culture in your optical practice can take time. It requires planning and implementing the right strategies so that you can carry out a positive office culture throughout all areas of the practice, and building the right team of people who embrace and represent the culture that you're working hard to build.
There are a lot of things that can easily get in the way of a great culture too. Embracing your culture doesn't just fall on you, it's a team effort. Let's take a look at a few things that could be destroying the culture and atmosphere in your practice.
Taking Credit for Others
This is a big one that can kill employee morale. If there are employees or managers in your practice taking credit for others' ideas, responsibilities, or production it can be a big blow to the employee who truly put in all of the effort. It could cause them to put in less time and effort on future tasks.
No one likes working with the feeling of someone always looking over their shoulder. Giving your employees more freedom, space, and responsibility will make them more accountable for their work and keep them happier in their role. Not being trusted to get the job done is a common frustration many employees suffer from at work.
As a small, independent practice it can be hard to offer top of the line perks to your employees. But there is always something you can do, even if it's not as extravagent as unlimited vacation, paid pet care, or daily catered lunches.
Start small with things like extra PTO days when specific goals are met, monthly team lunches, or paid volunteer days with local organizations. Small, thoughtful perks are a great way to show employee appreciation and differentiate your practice from others in the area.
Who You Hire
The people you hire in your practice are a direct representation of the brand and atmosphere you are creating. Two of the worst things you can do is hire clones for every position in your practice, or hire people who aren't a good working fit for each other. You need diversity in any work place, but you also need to hire for a team of individuals that can work seamlessly together and have fun while doing it!
Calling Out Employees in Front of Others
When you do run into problems in the work place there is a right time and place for dealing with them. Calling out mistakes or reprimanding employees in front of the team creates a tense and awkward work place. It's unfair to the employee and you're not creating a learning experience out of a bad situation. It could also put you in a bad light in front of the rest of the office and create bad relationships among your staff.
Setting Impossible Goals
Setting attainable goals is a good way to keep up motivation in the office. But, if you're setting goals that are too high and unreachable month after month it can become taxing on your employees who are putting in all of their effort to meet these goals. Setting your team up for failure will most likely hurt productivity in the long run. When goals are met, don't forget to reward your team for the work they have put in to accomplish what needed to be done.
Not Offering Praise
Most people don't like their work to go unnoticed. Besides the basics of congratulating an employee of a job well done you can take it a step farther with an employee of the month program, and give a small gift like a $10 gift card to that employee. You can also highlight employee accomplishments on your social media pages as a way to showcase a job well done and strengthen the relationships between your staff and patients.
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