Practice Management

My Practice’s Core Values: How I Am Applying Them to Build My Ideal Business

Georgiann Jensen, OD

Feb. 3, 2021

Creating core values for you and your employees to follow can make delivering the highest level of care more likely. It gives your team standards to live up to, which builds accountability in the services that are provided to patients. You have a guide that shows you how to live up to what you want your practice to be for patients and the community.

Core values are traits or qualities that are not just worthwhile, they represent an individual’s or an organization’s highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. They are the heart of what your organization and its employees stand for in the world.

Determine What is Most Important to You & Your Practice
The first step to creating and enforcing core values is to think about what is most important to you and the practice. Each core value should help enable you to achieve your vision for the ideal practice. In my case, I wanted a business that was as caring of others as it was profitable.

In addition to my own thoughts about my practice, I researched core values in business by reading books by opinion leaders like Dave Ramsey. Our mission statement, which our core values help us achieve, is that we want to treat others as we ourselves want to be treated.

Here are my practice’s specific core values:
1. KINDNESS – Treat others like we want to be treated.

2. SELF-EMPLOYED MENTALITY – This isn’t a J-O-B. We all act like we own the place.

3. SHOOT SACRED COWS – We stick by our principles. We challenge traditions.

4. SHARE THE PROFITS – We win together. We lose together.

5. MOMENTUM THEOREM – We are always going to be learning and growing, not remaining stagnant or complacent. “Blissfully dissatisfied”

6. RIGHTEOUS LIVING – We believe character matters. All the time.

7. FEAR NOT – We don’t make decisions based on fear.

8. NO GOSSIP – We pass negatives up and positives all around.

9. FAMILY – We are part of Blaine Eye Clinic family, not just employees.

10. CRUSADE – We are crusaders doing work that matters.

11. EXCELLENCE IN THE ORDINARY -We are faithful in the little things.

12. BALANCE – We balance family, fun and working hard.

13. NEVER GIVE UP – We impose our will on the marketplace. We’ll leave no stone unturned.

14. QUALITY BEFORE QUANTITY – Taking responsibility is who we are. Taking personal responsibility is what we value.

Use Core Values as a Day-to-Day Guide
We use our core values in hiring, firing, performance reviews (or “touch bases”), monthly all-staff meetings and when making leadership and ownership decisions. We want our staff to make decisions with each other and patients based on our core values.

We try to make decisions based on kindness, and how we would like to be treated if the same thing occurred to us. It definitely switches your viewpoint when you turn it around like that. Our practice leads are excellent at doing this, but we still are working hard on teaching all staff to apply our values in their day-to-day work.

“See the Good” By Contributing to Charities that Support Your Values
We recently started a new initiative, “See The Good,” in which our staff puts $20 gift certificates, paid for by our practice, at random locations throughout the community with encouraging words. This program is the brainchild of my amazing business partner, Breann Forliti, OD, along with one of our practice leads. Our “See The Good Ninjas” have left the gift certificates at parks, gas stations, childcare center, a school and other locations. We are going to start a quarterly See the Good gift (complimentary pair of glasses) for someone who has shown the good and for someone who needs to see the good. We’re working on how the nomination process will work.

In addition to the random acts of generosity that are a part of the See the Good program, we donate to one different charity each quarter. We used money from the fourth quarter of 2020 to donate to a local women and children shelter.

How J&J Does It

Johnson & Johnson provides an excellent example of how a large company has synthesized its core values as part of its mission statement. Click HERE to learn more.ROB Editors

Discuss Core Values in Staff Meetings
We talk about what went good and bad in staff meetings, and how those positive and negative occurrences relate to our core values. For example, if a patient left our office feeling that they had been treated poorly, we would talk about how that patient was not treated the way we want to be treated ourselves.

We also use our core values to help employees grow individually by pointing out how their work performance either lives up to, or falls short, of those values.

Let Your Core Values Guide Your Practice Investments
We started conducting OCT wellness screenings in 2020. This fulfilled our goal of treating our patients as we want to be treated. It has been well received by patients, with the vast majority agreeing to have these screenings done. Having state-of-the-art equipment like the OCT enables us to provide the same high level of care we would want for our own families. We want patients to have thorough eyecare, and any screenings that will make the preservation their vision more likely. We are passionate about saving eyesight.

Use Core Values to Survive a Crisis
When we had to shut down except for urgent and emergent care last year due to the pandemic, we went to a skeletal staff. Our practice leads (we call them the Crisis Team during the pandemic) showed us amazing kindness, a “self-employed mentality” and “fear-not” core values. We would not have made it without this fantastic group of people. Dr. Forliti led the pack by living the “never give up” core value. All of our team, not just the Crisis Team, truly showed us the “family” core value and lifted us up with prayers and encouragement.

Georgiann Jensen, OD, is the owner of Blaine Eye Clinic in Blaine, Minn. To contact her: drjensen@blaineeyeclinic.com

 

 

 

 

 

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