The best companies develop core values that impact their company culture, brand, and business strategies, making them unique.

Too often, short-term planning clouds good business decision- making and causes us to make the wrong move. The only way to meet long-term goals is to root them in missions worthy of our dedication and the kinds of values that meaningfully connect us and enable us to relate deeply to the world around us.

I believe that when you ask people why they are in business, those with the strongest values are the ones that will continue to grow and flourish.

Incorporating values into recruitment

Hiring staff purely on the basis of their talent and then training them on the values that matter to your company simply doesn’t work in the long term. Instead, hiring decisions should focus on issues like character from the start. That way, you’ll build a team who innately understand your practice’s purpose and will make practical and principled, self-directed decisions day-to-day that put the patient first.

Don’t stop there, either. Make sure to reward people not just for getting the job done but for how they get the job done.

Measuring progress based on values

The old adage that ‘what you measure is what you get’ remains valid.

Not only should you measure ‘how much got done’ (i.e. profits and losses) but also, more importantly, keep track of ‘how it got done’. Patient surveys are a great way to monitor this.

Inspiring your employees

Conventional wisdom tells us that “carrots” are a better motivational tool than “sticks”. But even “carrots” have limits, particularly during tough economic times. Instead, leaders need to inspire their employees.

Think about how much we are asking of employees today. We want them to go beyond merely serving patients to create unique, delightful experiences; to honourably represent your practice and nurture its brand, not only when they are on the job but whenever they publicly express; and to be creative with fewer resources and resilient in the face of unimaginable uncertainty.

These contributions will not come as the result of threats or even bonuses. Instead, as a practice owner and leader of your staff, you must inspire your employees with a sense of deep purpose and shared core values.