Episode 31 | Cultivating a Positive Workplace

In this episode, we’re going to cover cultivating a positive workplace both with your independent contractors and your own employees.

I have four tips for you, for creating a positive working environment for your Independent Contractors.

This will help maintain long-term relationships with ICs rather than having a revolving door where people are coming and going.

  1. Have clear systems in place. Less mess = a better experience. When it comes to things like when notes are due, or how payments work, there should be clear systems in place that both parties understand. Knowing what is expected of you and what is expected of them from the beginning will help in creating an experience that is good for all parties involved.
  2. Provide autonomy and space. Talk to an attorney about what you can and cannot dictate to your independent contractors. Have everything that you do and do not want in your practice outlined; then let your ICs practice autonomously.
  3. Create a peaceful environment for them to do their work. Printers should function, lights should be working, working spaces should be clean, etc. The space they are offered should be what they need to do their work.
  4. Model healthy boundaries and communication. Start conversations in a respectful and positive way. Communication shouldn’t create defensiveness or animosity. Set the boundaries and communicate in a way you would like communication to be reciprocated.

For employees:

  1. Again, have clear systems in place. More systems will be in place than with ICs. Make sure you have a workplace flow. From intake, to scheduling, to notes, to client payments, to insurance payments, to no-show policies, etc.  all employees should be doing the same thing.
  2. Make sure you have quality time with each of your therapists. I have set up a structure with a lot of free time where people can come into my office. I also come in early and leave a little later to pop into anyone who’s door is open to check in with them. Make sure to have this quality time at least once a month. This can help with professional growth, answer any questions, etc.
    • Give them space to spread their wings. Clinicians who can figure out who they are clinically and practice that way will be happier. Then their clients will be happier, and it will be a trickle-down effect in creating a positive workplace environment.
  3. Recognize wins and accomplishments. Whether it’s a certificate or an additional license, things, like sending an email or having everyone sign a card, will help create cohesiveness and bring people together. Celebrate things like birthdays and work anniversaries.
  4. Model healthy boundaries and communication. Be clear on your needs as a group practice owner so your employees can be successful in doing what they have to do. Ask them for feedback on how you’re doing in a way that makes them feel safe in giving it to you. If you’re the one who opens the door, the likelihood is that they will give you feedback in a positive and constructive way.
  5. Provide quality supervision. For employees to feel invested in the practice, supervision is essential. Knowing they have a point person (whether it’s you or an office supervisor) to go to lets them know that you care that they process things that happen. It’s also a place to talk about professional growth, growing in a niche, etc.

Uriah Guilford and his team at The Productive Therapist provide the admin support that you need to grow your practice and also have a life! Your dedicated assistant can help with phone support – return calls and emails promptly, intake coordination, content & email marketing, EHR setup & management, social media & much more. And what’s great, is that Uriah knows what group practice owners need because he’s a group practice owner too! Mention TGPE and get 2 hours of free training time with your assistant!

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*I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group and website.

Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here: