Paul M. Stubenbordt focuses his blog on what steps a practice can take to optimize traditional and Internet marketing, public relations, social media as well as non-traditional marketing tactics that can help maximize your current practice development program.

BLOG: Core values and behaviors

Recently, I visited a practice with an interesting corporate culture based on a number of core behaviors. These core behaviors were agreed upon by the staff and implemented into how they acted on the job. Each of these behaviors pertained to a certain core value, such as quality, empathy, honesty/integrity, teamwork and recognition.

Core values and behaviors support your practice’s vision, shape your corporate culture and reflect your values; essentially, they define your company’s identity, both to your employees and your patients. These values and behaviors help employees make decisions in accordance to a set of guidelines; they also tell your patients what your practice is about. Having a set of core behaviors is a competitive advantage as well as a good tool for recruiting and retention; job seekers like to confirm that the companies they apply to hold a set of values they agree with.

Core behaviors can also help police the behavior of your employees by encouraging your employees to check each other. For instance, at the practice I visited, there were core behaviors against gossiping and abusing cell phone privileges. If an employee were to take part in such behavior, instead of facing discipline from their boss, their fellow employees would tell them something along the lines of, “Now, didn’t we all agree not to do that?” This sort of “discipline” highly encourages the right behavior in employees by making them feel obliged to uphold their agreement with their fellow employees, not just to appease their boss.

Here is an example of a solid set of core behaviors:

Quality

1. I provide prompt, compassionate care and service that exceeds expectations.

2. I project a positive image in my appearance and clean work environment.

3. I promote my office whenever possible to ensure patients will receive quality treatment when I am outside the office.

Empathy

1. I serve with a willing and flexible attitude.

2. I take responsibility for my growth and development.

3. I respect individuality, privacy and dignity of all.

4. I create a positive lasting impression every day.

Honesty/ i ntegrity

1. I act with integrity and accountability for my actions.

2. I use company resources and materials responsibly.

3. I promote the best interests of patients.

4. I am truthful with my boss and co-workers at all times.

Teamwork

1. I communicate with clarity, courtesy and respect.

2. I create a warm and inviting environment with all co-workers.

3. I identify innovative solutions.

4. I don’t participate in gossip or negativity.

5. I don’t post or promote negative comments on social media about my job.

6. I don’t abuse cell phone privileges while on the job.

Recognition

1. I express gratitude and appreciation.

2. I write a gratitude letter to a patient every week.

3. I brag on my doctors and teammates to patients.

Core behaviors are well accepted by today’s workforce. They not only accept core direction, they thirst for it. I recommend implementing core behaviors into any practice that is trying to create a solid company culture.