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People and culture blog

Year-Round Success: Strategies for Nurturing People and Culture

People and culture review
When it comes to running a thriving healthcare business, I’m a firm believer that nothing is more important than the people and the culture. These two elements are symbiotic in nature, and without intentionality, can take on a life of their own.

These can feel like intangible concepts – so let’s talk about some concrete ways to assess and elevate your people and culture in 2024:

Key Takeaways

  • Dedicate time each year to review successes, identify areas for improvement, and set clear, intentional goals to guide progress.
  • Prioritize employee retention by fostering a culture of transparency, engagement, and feedback at all levels of the organization.
  • Anticipate and adapt to evolving people and culture trends while celebrating achievements to maintain a positive and motivated work environment.

Reflect On 2023

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day functions of running a business. This doesn’t always leave a lot of time for reflection, so we have to be intentional about making time for this. Try setting aside at least 1 hour of uninterrupted time for this exercise:

  • Identify 3 ‘People & Culture’ things that went well in 2023; maybe you made a great hire or implemented a performance review process. This list should reflect actions taken which positively impacted your workforce.
    • Tip: Consider looking at your employee retention rate as one data point – assess any employee turnover that you had and identify any relevant learnings or areas of opportunity. Some level of turnover is healthy (especially if it’s intentional), so the goal isn’t necessarily to have 100% retention – a general rule of thumb is to target 85-90%.
  • Identify 3 ‘People & Culture’ things that need attention or improvement in 2024; maybe you really need to get an employee handbook in place (we can help!) or your staff needs more development in a few key areas (we can help with that, too). This list should reflect things that are impeding productivity or happiness today.
  • Bring your leadership team (or your full staff) into the conversation.  If you’re a larger practice, bring in your leadership team. If you’re a small, tightknit team, considering bringing the full team into the reflection exercise – they can help you pinpoint wins and opportunities. You’ll also want the team to be bought into any goals or changes you prioritize in the future, so involving them early is both efficient and inclusive.
  • Celebrate the wins!  Often, we are so focused on the work in front of us that we forget to celebrate the successes. The more we recognize the value of the good people and culture work we’ve done in the past, the more likely we are to repeat that good behavior, as well as continue to focus on any necessary improvements.

Design Your 2024 Goals

Your people and culture goals for 2024 don’t have to be overly complex; they should be both aspirational and achievable. I recommend focusing on 2-3 key opportunities that you know will move the needle. It’s also important to identify some actions that will help you reach these goals.

Here are some examples:

  • Goal: Strengthen the collaboration culture across the team to enable positive working relationships and information sharing
    • Action: Plan an employee engagement activity to support teambuilding, strengthen connections, and boost creativity. Need simple, cost-effective ideas to get you started? I’m always happy to help!
    • Action: Schedule a team training focused on communication*
      • *Hint: This doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming! There are training options through CQ Partners, as well as lots of free and low-cost online options.
  • Goal: Build a feedback-focused culture to drive continuous improvement
    • Action: Implement an employee engagement survey. This is a great way to gauge how things are going, where improvements might be needed, and it helps employees to feel heard.
    • Action: Implement a quarterly or bi-annual performance review process – this should include a 2-way dialogue between supervisors and employees. There are many different ways to manage performance (and there’s no “right” or “wrong”); the key is to find a process that works well for you and aligns with your values.
  • Goal: Improve clarity around performance expectations and company policies across the organization
    • Action: Create or revise your existing Employee Handbook to align with existing expectations, policies, and practices. Roll this out to all employees and communicate the “why” behind it. Not sure where to start with this? CQ can help!
    • Action: Build time for performance discussions into weekly or monthly 1:1’s with each employee. This is also a good time to solicit feedback and identify any obstacles preventing employees from performing to their potential.

Be Transparent with Your Goals

Don’t just loop in your leadership team; ensure every single member of your organization is aware of your people and culture goals for the year. Talk about these goals early and often; share the ‘why’ and the ‘how.’ Provide opportunities for feedback – when we’re holding our teams accountable to achieve these goals, we want to incorporate their views and perspectives into the ‘how’ as much as possible.

  • Identify opportunities to share the goals verbally and in writing across your organization.
  • Remind employees of these goals regularly and share incremental progress along the way.
  • Keep it flexible; don’t hesitate to adjust your goals and actions throughout the year based on your team’s needs.

Be Persistent and Celebrate the Small Wins

Don’t strive for perfection – instead, focus on moving the needle. Creating change is never easy, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Make sure you’re practicing self-care, giving yourself grace, and taking lots of deep breaths. Persistence is key – if it doesn’t go well the first time you try something, adjust your approach, talk to your partners at CQ, and try again. The small shifts that you make each day to support your people and culture goals will add up, and they WILL pay off – I promise you.

Keep your goals visible. We know there are many things competing for your time and attention each day. Find ways to make your goals visible and present to your and your team – print them out, put them next to your computer, write them on a whiteboard, whatever!

Celebrate the successes! Recognize the hard work (by yourself and the team) that went into achieving your goals. I try to celebrate even the small, incremental improvements – this helps me keep energy up to maintain positive momentum – also, it just feels good. Before you move on to the next thing, pause for a moment and celebrate.

Creating the right team and supporting that team with a positive and productive culture is a key part of accomplishing your overall business goals. Taking the time to review the state of your organization, practicing transparency, and setting intentional, achievable goals will set you up for people and culture success year over year.

Looking to build a stronger team or create a more positive culture? You’re not alone. CQ Partners has decades of experience helping make good hearing healthcare practices great. Contact the expert People & Culture team at CQ Partners to learn more.


About the Author

Caroline Grant

Caroline Grant leads the People and Culture function for CQ Partners. Caroline and her team are focused on helping practices build a strong and resilient workforce through talent acquisition, employee development, and culture-building solutions. Caroline brings 15+ years of diverse cross-functional Human Resources experience with a focus in Talent Acquisition, Change Management, and Training & Development. She is passionate about the power of human potential and enjoys helping leaders enable this in their teams.