One of the fundamental things to having a truly successful practice is defining your ‘why’ and your ‘hows’, that is, defining why you do what you do (your purpose), and how you do it (your values).
Defining your purpose and your values is key to the success of your practice, and can actually make running your business much easier.
We know that clinicians often struggle to come up with an authentic purpose and set of values. Defining your purpose and values can sometimes feel like a corporate exercise, and this can lead to the output feeling like a bunch of meaningless words.
By really taking time to get to the heart of why you do what you do, and defining your purpose and a set of values that feel authentic and natural, you will start to notice tremendous improvements in so many aspects of your business.
When it comes to defining your purpose, or your WHY, there are a few key questions you can consider:
- What impact are you having for your patients?
- What benefits are your patients deriving from coming to you for care?
- How are you changing your patients’ lives?
- How are you making life better for your patients?
- What is it that you truly get out of bed for every single morning?
Hopefully answering the questions above will help you to identify what is important to you and what lies at the heart of your practice, and enable you to define exactly WHY you do what you do.
When it comes to defining your values, think about what you want patients to be saying about you in any interaction they have with your practice. You should also consider what you want your team to say about the practice. Some examples of areas where your values should be reflected include:
- Your website
- Your social media channels
- Your printed materials (e.g. leaflets)
- Your practice
- Your team
Once you’ve defined your values, it’s really important that you actually use them – don’t turn this into an exercise where you get them down on paper and then just forget about them. Once you’ve defined your values, you and your team need to live them.
Start by thinking about what behaviours need to happen in your practice so that your values are upheld in every single step of the patient journey.
For example, if one of your values is that you are always professional and respectful, look at your patient journey to make sure that at each step, that value is upheld. What is the manner of the person on the phone? How do you come across on your website?
You should also identify which behaviours detract from your values.
With the example above, if you have values of professional and respectful, but one of your therapists is constantly running late, that is a behaviour which detracts from your values, and therefore needs to be addressed.
Once you’ve got them right, you should start thinking about what behaviours need to happen in your practice so that your values are upheld.
If you have values that you are always professional and respectful, the way that you interact with your patients. What is the manner of the person on the phone? How does it come across on your website? What are the behaviours that detract from it? For example, a therapist arriving after the patient or not arriving in time to get prepared before the first patient, or continuously running late – those detract from the value you want to uphold of professional and respectful.
Once you’ve defined your purpose and values, you should find that running your practice and making decisions is a lot easier as your purpose and values should help guide decisions about what marketing to do, who to hire and who to fire, and what business decisions to make. When you know your values, it makes it a lot easier to make the right decisions for the success of your practice!