How do you maintain culture during rapid company growth?

Maintaining a unique culture across a growing organization

When our company started we had a handful of providers that were in “start up”  mode.  We had known and worked with each other for years in a different facility.  We were used to scraping it together (covering shifts, etc) and doing what ever it took to provide excellent care for our patients.  We often thought out-side the box, innovated on the spot and had each others’ back for patient care concerns and follow up issues.  We banded together to have a voice as a NP group and made great strides in our independent practice.
As an NP, I am now their National APP Leader and VP of Clinical Operations.  I feel a strong sense of responsibility to my team and our clinical practice.  I make sure that the APPs have a voice and input into day to day operations.  Together, we “own” the provider practice and have a very strong sense of culture in our original start up office.
The problem:  Our practice has grown very rapidly.  We are now in 7 markets/6 states and plan to be in 2-3 more by EOY.  Our provider workforce has grown to over 55 NPs/PAs.  In the past I would personally interview, hire and make sure that ALL of our providers understood our mission, core values and the culture that I have developed.  However, I no longer have the bandwidth to speak to every APP hire.  I do have a small team of APP Leaders that I am developing, but most providers have little leadership or business experience or training.  I want our unique provider group to be one, not “us” vs “them” as we expand across the nation.
Question: How do we maintain the strong sense of culture across all markets as we continue to expand operations?  How do we band together all of the providers and keep the sense of ownership of our unique practice?
Thank you!


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Participant comments on How do you maintain culture during rapid company growth?

  1. This is an issue faced in many businesses as they grow beyond a small “family” of colleagues who work side by side with one another and have a common, shared experience that can be traced back to the founding of a company. There are many strategies that can be employed to maintain the culture that made you successful in the first place while recognizing that continued expansion is your new reality. Robust onboarding programs that institute your culture from the beginning are one component. Another is to develop retreats (either on site of off site) that educate both new and existing employees on the history and culture of your company as well as ensuring that everyone understands your values, mission, and strategy and how they support the work your employees do each day. Finally, some very large companies actually include a Chief Culture Officer on their administrative team. This individual is specifically tasked with supporting, overseeing, and maintaining the corporate culture.

  2. Hi Dana. Thank you for your feedback. We have started to implement many of these suggestions: improved on-boarding, videos, enhanced training materials, a retreat – planned for this fall, bi-weekly email blasts from the CEO and a new HR Director that has this on her agenda. I was curious, do you knew what kind of background, experience and training a Chief Culture Officer would possess? See you next week!

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