How to Improve Your Team Culture by Doing THIS Immediately!

How do you eat an elephant? Of course, one bite at a time! How do you improve your team culture? One step at a time!

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How do I know if we have an unhealthy culture?”

Here are a few characteristics of an unhealthy work environment:

  • Employees bring their personal drama to work
  • Team members gossip about each other
  • One or more people on the team have a negative attitude / mindset
  • Both clinical and front office teams are struggling to connect with patients
  • New patient retention is less than 92%
  • Team members have a poor work ethic

If those statements strike a chord, it may be time to work on improving your team culture. It may seem like a daunting task and you don’t want to rock the boat, right? Hiring new employees can be an overwhelming task and can cause practice leaders to accept less than 100% from team members because it’s the lesser of the unknown. This strategy only creates a feeling of disrespect among team members and the culture will continue to decline.

Every leader must be in alignment with their employee’s communication style if they want to improve the culture. People cannot be managed, but they can be led. Before you can lead someone, you have to know how they best communicate.

At Team Culture Works, our philosophy is “Treat others the way THEY want to be treated.”  The challenge is that employees won’t tell you how they want to be treated; however, they will show you!  We use DISC assessment tools to identify behavior cues of every team member so they are able to communicate with each employee according to their unique personality and behavior style. (Email me to get your DISC assessment).

Once you understand how to properly communicate in the most effective way with each of your employees, it’s time to connect with them and re-open the lines of communication (you may think they are open because they are constantly complaining about who left before sterile was done, but they aren’t).

The first step in connecting with your employees is to schedule a “review” with them.  These are 30-minute private meetings where you can have a heart-to-heart conversation that results in safe, open lines of communication. The misconception about employee reviews is that they are only had when a raise is in order. This is not the case. To squash this misconception, open the review conversation saying, “The purpose of this review is to discuss your job performance and make sure we are on the same page moving forward.”

Employee Review Conversation Ideas:

  • “What are you most proud of at work over the past 12 months?”
  • “What did we do well?”
  • “What didn’t go so well?”
  • “As your leader, how do you feel we communicated about issues?”
  • “What do you need from me (the leader) in the next 12 months to ensure that we continue to grow?”

Regardless of the employee’s response, appreciate the honest answers if they are willing to be vulnerable with you.  End the conversation with a sincere thank you and schedule next steps if needed.  File your notes from the “review” and revisit them monthly to ensure that you are meeting each team member’s expectations and are providing the tools they need to be successful. 

When you follow these steps to improve team culture, you will notice an organic elevation of employee engagement with the practice.  Opening the lines of true, vulnerable conversation will create a feeling of value and appreciation.  This is the first step toward a healthy, inclusive culture.

To learn more about how to improve your team culture, contact me today at or 214-755-0955.  For more information about our Team Culture Camp programs, visit

About the Author…

Tracy Civick is a speaker, author, and coach who focuses on strengthening corporate culture, empowering teams to practice effective communication, and creating profitable workplace environments.  With over a decade of team development experience creating unity, compassion, and success, Tracy has a passion for teaching individuals how to elevate themselves both personally and professionally

Published by Team Culture Works

We teach teams how to use DISC COMMUNICATION tools to improve communication, eliminate gossip at work, and increase productivity.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: