How to Build an All-Star Team

An All-Star team celebrating
By Phil Cadman, PT, DPT

I’ve been the owner and CEO of Premier Physical Therapy Services in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 15 years.

Over that period of time, we’ve grown from a staff of four to a staff of 25. I’m proud to say that we have a very low turnover rate, and I believe that’s due to three main reasons: our company’s culture, positive work environment, and insistence on having measurable goals for the company and individual staff members. I’ve learned several things about myself and my staff through the years and, as a result, these areas have evolved.

We’ve all heard the buzzword “work culture,” and although it may seem cliché, it’s important to the success of your business that your staff align with your culture. It’s fundamental to ensure that your staff’s core values, goals, and vision are compatible with those of your company. Along the same lines, it’s important that all employees, from the front office to your physical therapists, understand the role they play in the company and how their role influences others on the team. This understanding and direction provide each staff member with a sense of purpose and help improve their effectiveness.

Ways to develop the culture you want

  1. Establish and share a clear company vision, goals, and values.
  2. Empower and encourage your employees.
  3. Listen to what your employees say and act on it.

Alongside culture, we’ve encouraged and emulated a happy work environment. We’ve been able to accomplish this by regularly and publicly showing appreciation for and recognizing our staff. We set up a top-shelf award that allows management, fellow employees, and patients to recognize a staff member who exceeds expectations. Another way we promote a happy and positive work experience is to provide regular feedback. Some feedback is provided formally, whereas other feedback is more informal. We’ve accomplished this through conducting annual reviews, having quarterly one-on-one talks with each staff member, and regularly seeking opportunities to show gratitude in-person while people are doing their jobs.

Ways to Promote A Happy Workplace
1. Recognize your employees publicly with a reward program.
2. Find employees who energize your culture and support them in their contributions to your company.
3. Offer resources and support to achieve goals to grow professionally and personally.
Effective Ways to Track Progress
1. Set clear, measurable goals. 
2. Show each employee how they fit into the bigger picture. 
3. Offer continuing education for improvement in skills.

The annual review serves as a formal and objective way to set and track goals. It also gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the direction of the goals with each employee and provide any necessary mentorship or resources to assist in attaining those goals. The one-on-one quarterly meeting is less formal. It allows us to discuss what’s working well and what we could improve on as a company or management team. We’re also able to ensure that we’re developing our employees in ways that continue to challenge them and enhance their knowledge. Development and progress are defined differently for each employee, so we have to rely on managers to take the time to discuss employees’ individual goals and determine a plan of action to achieve them. It’s important that the company provides growth opportunities for the staff through continuing education and facilitation of program development in their areas of interest and expertise.

Finally, another way to build your dream team is to show progress toward both company and individual goals. This provides a clear picture of the direction that the company is headed and allows employees to see that we’re moving forward in accomplishing our goals. After determining what professional development and progress looks like for each employee, you can tailor how each of their individual goals is tracked. Once the goals have been reviewed, a plan can be implemented with a timeline and allocated resources. Company goals should be posted in a common area that staff can view to see the progression toward the goals. Individual staff goals can be posted more privately or placed in a personal space for each employee to visualize their progress regularly. This will not only assist with accountability and motivation to staying on task, but it will also improve the likelihood of staff achieving their goals.

Measure Up

Consider contributing your company metrics to P2P to see how your company’s performance compares to other PR small businesses. Learn more at

Phil Cadman

Phil Cadman, PT, DPT, is a PPS member and owner of Premier Physical Therapy Services in Cincinnati, Ohio. He can be reached at or @pcadman11.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

Are you a PPS Member?
Please sign in to access site.
Enter Site!