Managers: 7 ways to create a positive practice culture

Just how do you create a positive culture? Take these seven steps to find your happy place.
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Mar 01, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

Every workplace, from a veterinary practice to a high-powered law firm, has a culture. A business's values and processes—everything from how leaders communicate with employees to how successes are rewarded to how (or whether) work life balance is achieved—determine its culture. Employees might describe culture as "how we do things around here," and the culture sets the tone for how these employees act and feel at work. (Test whether your practice's culture is positive by clicking here to take our BizQuiz.)

A positive organizational culture is associated with higher performance, productivity, and employee retention rates, according to Cultivating Effective Corporate Cultures, a 2008 study conducted by the American Management Association (AMA). Why? Because people who work at companies with positive cultures are generally happier with their jobs, and happy people work better. Here's what you can do to increase the good vibes—and good work—at your practice.

1. Show you can be trusted. This goes along with helping employees know their self-worth. They trust you because you trust them. To foster trust, keep team members in the know about what direction the business is going. Tell the truth, even when it's difficult. Encourage the team to accomplish the business's goals as well as individual professional goals. Involve employees at every level in the decision-making process.

2. Encourage learning. Many team members may feel comfortable with the status quo, but the reality is the world is always changing. Being in an environment that allows people to learn new things and develop new skills is a big deal—for employees' personal satisfaction as well as the practice's ongoing success.