Cores values are essential to creating a great clinic culture.
It bonds your team together with a shared sense of purpose to achieve your clinic's goals. But how do you create great ones that motivate your staff and deeply ingrain them into your culture to drive desired business outcomes?
That's what you’ll learn in this blog post.
Let’s get straight to it…
First, what are core values, and why are they important?
As my good friend Jason Lindstrom says it is best about core values meaning;
"Core values are the rules that guide how a workforce thinks, behaves, and makes decisions both big and small. In simpler terms, they are what determine a way of life within a business every day. "
My most successful clients who have great cultures, all have great core values.
Core values keep your staff engaged and lowers voluntary turnover.
Check out this swipe post to learn the top 4 ways the best clinics increase employee engagement:
Now with the gig economy and the resignation boom growing. It's more important than ever to establish core values to give your staff a better understanding of their purpose, get them to stay, and motivate them to do great work.
This also dramatically decreases the chance of your top clinician leaving and opening up a clinic down the street.
Not only that it’s crucial to attract A players. With the shortage of clinicians and the rise in competition. Clinicians have more options than ever before. One way to stand out even when others are offering more than you can is to have great core values that attract.
My friend Darryl Yardley, PT says that Physios will actually go to a place that pays them less because they have a better culture and values. He works with hundreds of Physios and clinic owners through ptharmony.ca and has seen this be the case time and time again.
So How Do You Create Great Clinic Values?
It's easy to go copy generic corporate-sounding values like customer service, impact, But the problem with these vague terms is they are meaningless to your staff which won't motivate them.
In the words of Elvis Presley,
“Values are like fingerprints. Nobodies are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.”
When coming up with your own clinic core values they need to be tied to measurable activities and behaviors.
They need to also be specific.
Here's how to create your company values. I learned this simple 5 step process from my good friend Jason Lindstrom. I just tweaked them to apply to clinic owners.
1.) Look Around Your Clinic
Jason recommends you observe your business for a couple of weeks and ask this question
"Are there any behaviours that you're seeing take place often that you feel deserves employee rewards?"
Here are some examples that apply to a clinic:
Does your staff go above and beyond to provide a great patient experience on the phones and inside the clinic?
Do you celebrate team milestones?
Do you celebrate getting patients successful outcomes?
Is your staff always learning and trying to get better (booking more, reduce patient discharge, clinical skills, etc.)
Those are just a few to get you started and you'll be able to discover more as you observe.
2.) Ask Your Staff
In order to get your staff to buy-in, you need to make them a part of the core value creation process. Many times your employees can give you great ones because they are the ones doing the job every day.
You can host a group session and brainstorm to come up with your core values.
On the session, you can ask these great questions:
What do you like about working here?
What makes us different from our competitors?
If you were talking to a family member, how would you describe what it's like to work here?
What values do other employees bring to the clinic?
Think of a person on our team that inspires you, what do they do that inspires you?
What's most important to us?
3.) Group All The Answers Into Similar Themes
When you start to put together all the answers, you will start to see similar themes.
They may not respond exactly the same. But you'll notice responses that you can group to a specific theme.
Like patient experience, teamwork, or having fun.
This will start to create your core values. But when you’re creating your values you want to keep in mind behaviors that you want to reward your employees for and drive business outcomes. Such as getting more patients to complete their plan of care, booking more patients on the phones, getting 5-star google reviews, referrals, etc.
4.) Put Together All Your Values and Get Feedback From Your Team
Now it’s time to put them together and word them in a way that’s meaningful. Here are some core values examples...
Say one of your themes is "Provide a Great Patient Experience". You could turn that into "Put Patients First"
Get successful patient outcomes to "Make it Happen"
Jason recommends limiting your core values to 5 to 6 values and keep them simple so all your staff can remember them.
It's also good to have the 2nd meeting and present them to your team. They may have ways to make them better or come up with ones you’ve never thought about.
The last step is...
5.) Share Your Core Values With Your Team
Share your core values everywhere. Put them on your walls, waiting room, and lunchroom.
Put there everywhere so your staff can see them every day.
Now you may be thinking, this is a great way to come up with core values. But how do I deeply ingrain them into my culture to drive desired business outcomes?
There are many great ways to get your employees to live and breathe the core values every day. My favorite is to recognize them when they live by it.
You Get What You Reward
What I do and my clients do is recognize our employees publicly for it. For example, it doesn't have to be in person. You could use slack to announce it to everyone. Also, you could reply to all your team members in an email so they see you recognizing the person.
When your team sees this they are more likely to repeat the same behavior. While at the same time the employee who got rewarded is more likely to do it again.
This is a great way to get your staff to live by your core values.
You can also tie in bonuses, gift cards, or other gifts as a reward.
It’s also important to reward your staff’s performance on the phones. If you’re not sure how your staff is doing on the phones or maybe you want to make sure your patients aren’t slipping through the cracks.
That’s where the FREE Mystery Caller Audit Test can help.
It’s an easy way to help generate more patients from the calls you’re already getting.
1. What are some other ways to ingrain core values into my culture?
The first is to hire people who already process them. You can do this by asking them specific behavior questions in the interview.
Performance reviews where you measure how well they are meeting the core values. Onboarding new employees by sharing your core values.
2. What if someone on my team doesn’t follow the core values?
If you are doing everything we talked about to ingrain them in your culture and they still aren’t following them. Then it’s best to cut the cord.
Having someone whose values clash with the company's core values sends a very bad message to your employees. Even if they are your top performer they can bring everyone else down. You need to cut the cord when there is a miss-match.
3. How do I make sure my staff takes the clinic’s core values seriously?
Clinic leaders need to talk about their core values a lot, recognize staff for living by them and call out staff when breaking them.
Be sure behavior-based questions are part of the interview process, are part of performance reviews, and promotion decisions. Following these steps can help your company propagate core values instead of them just being a punchline.
Who is Rick Lau and CallHero?
Rick has built three 10 million dollar healthcare businesses over the past 15 years including a network of 127 clinics with over 1400 employees. He is one of the most sought-after mentors for clinic owners in Canada and USA where he helps owners double, triple, and even quadruple their profits by optimizing their clinic operations using his proven systems and leadership strategies. Plus, he has spent over millions in google and facebook ads during his career.
You can follow him on Instagram