7 Beatles songs for improving office culture

January 28, 2016

The time we’ve all been waiting is finally here-The Beatles are now streaming for free on all major music-streaming services (Spotify and Apple Play, to name a few). To celebrate their arrival, we’ve been listening nonstop to our favorites at the office. After days on repeat, I couldn’t help but notice how applicable many Beatles’ classics are to office life, especially as it pertains to culture.

The time we’ve all been waiting is finally here-The Beatles are now streaming for free on all major music-streaming services (Spotify and Apple Play, to name a few). To celebrate their arrival, we’ve been listening nonstop to our favorites at the office. After days on repeat, I couldn’t help but notice how applicable many Beatles’ classics are to office life, especially as it pertains to culture.

Culture is an area seldom discussed in optometry-I think this is partially because it’s not as tangible or as easily measured as other metrics. If practice culture isn’t something you’ve ever considered, there’s strong data that suggests you should.

According to recent studies by Columbia University,1 offices with a rich culture are more productive and have significantly lower turnover. In addition, the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick2 found that happy workers are 12 percent more productive than average workers. This is particularly important in the optical industry because happy employees lead to happy, lifelong patients.

So whether you’re an optometrist striving to improve your business and relationships, an optician hoping to making work more fun and productive, or anything in between, here are a few classics to help jumpstart how you think about your culture.

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All You Need Is Love

The average day in the office can get a little hectic and stressful to say the least. By focusing on creating an office culture that fosters love and authenticity, those rough days will get easier and your staff will take notice.

Creating a loving culture also has the added benefit of improving trust. According to “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M. Covey, only 51 percent of employees trust their managers. Empowering those you work with by showing compassion can drastically improve this number. Even if the changes are small at first, the goal is to genuinely show you care about each person’s well being. And don’t forget, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Next: Help! 

 

Help!

While researching for this blog, I spoke with many practice employees who said their onboarding and early training was less than desirable. “I basically had a book thrown at me and was told to read it and take quizzes,” was one disturbing response that stood out to me in particular.

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New employee training lays the foundation for the success of someone’s career and is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. You are a mentor, not a manual. Training methods should be more hands-on and focus on the reason why things are done a certain way, not just simply how things are done. Focusing on the “why” instills the importance of learning in your culture that focuses on the individual and empowers them to make decisions. It also shows that you care about their success both now and in the future.

Next: Let It Be

 

Let It Be

We’ve all had that person who comes in, tries on every frame, asks all the right questions, then at the last minute, decides now isn’t the time. While frustrating, it’s just part of the job. And instead of letting this affect your day, it’s important to stay positive. Take a few breaths, keep your head high, and focus on your next patient.

Positivity is contagious, so don’t get down on things you can’t control. We make an effort as a company to be there for each other in those bad times. One way to do this is by stressing the importance of empathy within your office-a we’re-in-this-together mentality can go a long way in building a strong team.

Next: Twist and Shout

 

Twist and Shout

In addition to love and authenticity in the office, it’s important to make sure you’re having some fun. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and create some office traditions. My personal favorite way to have some fun is office dress-up days.

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Whether it be western, ‘90s, or ugly sweaters, having a day focused on fun will add a spark to your culture, and your patients will take notice, too. Another great way to mix it up is to be sure you’re celebrating birthdays. Buy some balloons, get a cake, throw on your favorite dance jams, and have an impromptu office celebration. Keeping energy and enthusiasm high is a great way to build happy employees and a unique culture.

Next: Come Together

 

Come Together

Above all else, teams that are close will prevail. One of the key characteristics of all tight-knit cultures is transparency. While somewhat elusive, the first step in forming a more transparent culture is clear communication. Clearly communicating milestones and achievements as a team will get everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. But that’s only half the battle. In order to build a lasting culture, you have to recognize and celebrate those achievements-no matter how big or how small they might be.

On a side note, do something outside of the office once in awhile. Go out to dinner, grab some drinks, or volunteer as an office somewhere. Getting together outside of the office and in a more casual atmosphere is an easy way to build camaraderie, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, just be sure it’s something everyone want to do.

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There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Improving authenticity, camaraderie, transparency, learning, and adding a little bit of fun are simple organizational characteristics that can go a long way to promote office happiness. There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done speaks to the notion that anyone and everyone is capable to achieve anything. This is especially true as it applies to creating an inspiring culture. There’s no reason the workplace dynamic should be dull, you can do something about it.

We’d love to hear what you’re doing to spice up your offices. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Creating an open dialogue is an important aspect of strong communities, especially for industry of lifelong learners, so let us know what you think.

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References

1. Medina E. Job Satisfaction and Employee Turnover Intention: What does Organizational Culture Have To Do With It? Available at: http://qmss.columbia.edu/storage/Medina%20Elizabeth.pdf. Accessed 01/28/2016.

2. Warwick. New study shows we work harder when we are happy. Available at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows/. Accessed 01/28/2016.

 

 

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