About a year and a half ago I was having dinner and overheard some people next to me talking about their jobs. All four of them were comparing horror stories about the different things that made their jobs miserable, and not one of them shared anything about what made their job great. It made me wonder how my employees talked about working for me. It hit home particularly hard because I was just starting to think about the process of growing my own business.
I started thinking about branding, and how I could brand my company not only to attract and keep clients, but also to attract and keep the best employees. People automatically associate the concept of branding with advertising, but what they don't always think about is that you as a business owner advertise not only to clients and potential clients, you also advertise to your employees every workday.
The way you choose to brand your business in house is part of what makes a happy employee, one who interacts gracefully with patients and co-workers to create an office environment that presents your practice in the best possible light.
Branding starts with a name and a tagline. If you're an established business in the medical field, it's not likely that you can change your name, but you can give yourself a tagline that communicates how you want your business to be perceived.
In much the same way that "Budweiser - The King of Beers" lets people know that Bud has established itself as a ruler of the market or that "United - Fly the Friendly Skies" suggests that you'll enjoy hassle-free travel, a tagline such as "Insist on Methodist" tells people that Methodist is worth asking for.
Your tagline not only affects how your clients will remember you, it also lets your employees know what you think is important about your business. Choose something that speaks to who you are: "Leaders in Cardiovascular Medicine", "Compassionate Pediatric Care" or "Setting the Standard in Imaging Technology".
I wanted to create a brand for Hire Priority, The Leader in Health Care Recruiting, which would make my employees say good things about me at dinner. The way I chose to go about showing them that they worked for an industry leader was by creating a fun, exciting and relaxed workplace, and at the same time letting them know that I treated them well because I considered them to be the very best at what they did.
Innovative change in the office starts with research. I googled the top 25 best office environments in America to see what made them special, then I implemented the same kinds of ideas.
Just because your office is small, doesn't mean you need to think or act small. In fact, in many ways, a smaller number of employees gives you the flexibility to create an even better office community. General Motors can hardly take the entire company on a weekend camping retreat.
The goal is to build a brand that will attract and keep the right employees for you. Since different types of people will respond best to different brands, the first step is to think about who *you* are and what you want *your* office to be. You have to be comfortable with the people you attract.
The question of how you want to be known has many answers.
Remember, a sellable brand means that everyone will buy into your messages: your clients, your current employees and your potential employees.
The last step is to get the word out. A major rebranding is worthy of a press release to local media outlets, especially business and medical publications. Scheduling a speaking appearance at health job fairs or other industry functions can also be an easy way to spread your updated message. Finally, create new signage and a new logo that includes your tagline and put it someplace visible. That will help keep your new brand at the forefront for both your clients and your employees.