Does your practice have a culture of collegiality and friendly support?
How to keep a positive culture in the workplace.
It is the owner’s responsibility (or the manager’s if it has been delegated) to interview and hire. The environment of the workplace is almost totally dependent on hiring the right people. Hire only positive people and chances are, they will be an easy person to work with. Be that positive person. We’ve all heard about the challenges of working in a toxic environment and what it can do to someone’s day. We try to never hire for skills but instead hire for attitude. Our philosophy is that we can teach skills but only if they have a good attitude. You cannot fall for the person with the great experience and overlook the fact that they might not have the necessary attitude for the job or to be a team player.
Here’s an observation of mine: The person with the strongest personality will set the mood for the workplace. If someone is regarded as a leader and has a strong personality, they can either have a positive influence or negative influence on everyone else. If you’re a new doctor, believe it or not, you have immediately been promoted from student to a leader of the practice. Be the leader you would want to follow! If you have a strong personality, clear your head of all of the negativity and stay in a good mood. It really is contagious. People with strong personalities can make or break the mood and culture of the clinic.
To the owners out there who are struggling with an employee that is contributing to a toxic environment, I am reminded of what Coach Lou Holtz of the National Champion Notre Dame football team had to say about motivation: “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated” You’ll be surprised how the rest of the team’s attitude will improve. Do nothing, and you’ll eventually lose the good people and before you know it, you’ll have a toxic team full of unmotivated and negative individuals.