Cultivating the culture of your practice (Proceedings)

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Cultivating the culture of your practice (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2010

As a leader in your veterinary hospital you have a direct impact on the culture of your practice. Your culture is the unwritten way that your hospital "feels" and this can be cultivated by you as you continue to grow your business. During this presentation, you will learn how to cultivate your culture in order to enhance the level of customer service you offer your clients, to elevate the level of veterinary care you offer their pets, and to position yourself in the community as an employer of choice in order to attract and retain top-notch employees. Now that is great for business!

1. 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 valid.
     • 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."

2. 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 practice.

3. How do you as a leader have a direct impact on cultivating the culture of your practice?
     • Regularly discuss what the culture is.
     • WALK THE TALK and lead by example.
     • Be a coach and a teacher.
     • Empower your team.
     • Trust your team and foster cooperation.
     • Regularly discuss strategy and organizational goals with your team.
     • Find ways to allow work/life balance to influence your culture.

4. How do you cultivate the culture of your hospital to enhance the level of customer service?
     • Foster a customer service culture
     • Empowerment of your employees

5. How do you cultivate the culture of your hospital to elevate the level of veterinary care offered?
     • Foster a culture of learning
     • What are "learning organizations"? "Organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to learn together" (Peter Senge, 1990)

6. How do you cultivate the culture of your hospital to position yourself in the community as an employer of choice?
     • Foster a culture that will attract and retain top-notch employees
     • Keep employees engaged and satisfied
     • Bring out the best performance in your employees.

7. How is this all great for your business?
     • The relationship between productivity and culture
     • The relationship between employee retention and culture
     • Discuss the value behind being an employer of choice