The ROI of Culture


Is engagement worth the investment? Is it worth putting the time, energy, and money into the culture of your company? The truth is that culture is one of the most important things to the modern workforce – without a healthy company culture, your organization will struggle to meet goals and grow. 

People are our greatest asset, and they need to be treated as such. Treating your workforce as expendable and recyclable will not only be reflected in your ability to grow, but also your ability to attract better talent. Like any investment, what you put into it is exactly what you will get in return. 

If people are going to be your greatest investment, you should also have your most exceptional return on that investment. It’s perfectly fine to have high expectations for your team if you are investing in them the way that you should. Establishing expectations for your team is not only healthy for your organization, but also for your team members. Boundaries and expectations remove any guesswork out of the equation, thus decreasing the likelihood of a liability being on your team. Investments are made to succeed, not break even. 

Below, we’ll be discussing the differences between a disengaged team member and an engaged team member, as well as how each will affect the success of your organization.

A disengaged team member

A disengaged team member will clock in and out, doing just enough to not get fired from their job. This person will create drama and problems within your organization, often amongst their other team members. They will not care about any training that you might require, nor will they concern themselves with any extra levels of continuous improvement. Essentially, a disengaged team member will not be aligned with the vision of your company or the direction of your leadership.

Disengaged team members are constantly cutting corners, and don’t concern themselves with the quality of service that you are hoping to provide to your patients. This is a person who is doing the absolute minimum at their job, thinking only about the short-term.

An engaged team member

Conversely, an engaged team member knows the vision and values of the organization need to be aligned. They understand their contribution to the organization and seek to improve their performance each day. Additionally, this is a trusted person on the team that does not create problems, opting to find solutions to the daily challenges that your dental practice will face. 

Your engaged employees will work to increase the quality of service on a daily basis and make decisions in the best interests of the company. They are looking for opportunities to grow, contribute to improvements throughout the office, and hit their key performance indicators (KPIs).

Investing in culture leads to profit

The question that a lot of business owners have is whether culture really matters. How does culture affect the bottom line? The answer is, unequivocally, yes – culture matters. When your culture suffers, your company suffers. 

Investing in culture requires a lot of time and capital to really dial in the specifics of what you need from your team. You need the combination of the right people, the right amount of training, and the right system to be able to make it work. None of this is free or easy. 

Measuring KPIs is a key component of checking on your investment. When you set the expectations for performance, you can in turn celebrate those in your organization who are going the extra mile and getting things done. KPIs are the data points inside the practice that will tell you everything you need to know about your team. 

Monitor the KPIs to give you a better indication of the engagement levels of your team, so that you can then plan your next steps for investing in the culture of your organization. Use this four-step, sequential equation to better understand what your investments needs: Culture > Engagement > Performance > Profit

Your first outcome for investing in culture should be to drive engagement. While it’s unrealistic to expect 100% engagement, try to get 80% to 90% engagement inside your team. When you have that level of engagement with your employees, you will get better performances across the board.

Performance and culture have always gone hand in hand. Culture is not kombucha, trail mix, Casual Fridays or nights at the bars. Don’t let the world deceive you into thinking that’s what culture is. Culture is performing well, having a great time together, and being excited about your patients. It’s saying yes to treatment that changes lives. 

When you have the right performance from your team, you will definitely have profit. With profits, you can reinvest in your business, reinvest in your people, and use it to grow your practice. Profits bring de novos and acquisitions, new tools and new software. 

Following this four-step formula will help you to better equip your team to succeed on a daily basis, while giving you the opportunity to identify the people within your organization who fit your culture – as well as those who don’t.