As veterinary technicians, your role is vitally important in enhancing the lives of the patients you care for (and for the
clients who own them). Did you know that you are also important in creating and sustaining the culture in the hospital where
you work? Well, you are! During this interactive presentation we will discuss many ways to create and sustain a positive culture
in your practice. By implementing these, you will help maintain an environment where everyone wants to work and where clients
want to do business. This equals a win-win situation for you, your boss, your clients, and their pets!
1. Discussion: Do you feel that you are important in creating and sustaining the culture in the hospital where you work?
2. What is "culture"?
• Definition from
http://www.businessdictionary.com/: The pervasive, deep, largely subconscious, and tacit code that gives the 'feel' of an organization and determines what is
considered right or wrong, important or unimportant, workable or unworkable in it, and how it responds to the unexpected crises,
jolts, and sudden change. All new employees must assimilate this code ('learn the ropes') to know the correct way to behave
and what to expect from other employees. Organizational culture is the sum total of an organization's past and current assumptions,
experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and are expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions
with the outside world, and future expectations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, express or implied contracts,
and written and unwritten rules that the organization develops over time and that have worked well enough to be considered
• Streamlined definition from the American Management Association/Institute for Corporate Productivity study on culture
from 2008: "The shared values and beliefs that help individuals understand organizational functioning and that provides them
with guides for their behavior within the organization."
3. How do you determine your hospital's culture?
• The AMA study identified eight dimensions associated with what the team termed a "positive corporate culture" and
asked participants to rank how these described their organization's culture:
o We have a cooperative culture.
o Our corporate culture is aligned with our strategy.
o We have a culture that encourages innovation.
o We have a culture that encourages strategy execution.
o Our culture fosters trust.
o We have a culture that promotes quick responses to needed changes.
o Our corporate culture brings out the best performance in our employees.
o Decision-making authority exists at all levels, not just top management.
• We will review each of these, their impact on the culture of your practice and their relationship to being a high-performing
4. How do you personally help maintain the culture of your practice and help maintain an environment where everyone wants
to work? See notes on "Being an Essential Employee!"
5. How do you maintain an environment where clients want to do business? How does this create a win situation for your clients?
• Foster a customer service culture
• Open, honest, empathetic communication
• Empowerment of employees