10.5.07 - Issue # 291 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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Halloween is around the corner. Are you the Good Witch or the Bad Witch “Office Manager”?

From the case files of McKenzie Management Advanced Business Training

Dear Belle,
“I am the Office Manager for a 3 doctor practice.  Two GP’s and one endodontist part-time.  We have a staff of 8 and also 3 hygienists.  The doctors put me in charge of ‘managing’ the staff about a year ago.  I have worked in this practice for ten years and can do anything in the back or in the front.  My problem is that the staff has labeled me the ‘BBB’ because I am in the position of making unpopular decisions concerning raises, time off, job duties etc.  Some days I feel like a ping-pong ball and I am getting headaches trying to balance all of this.  I am looking forward to the Advanced Training Course with you and McKenzie Management.
Suzie M.

Suzie M. came to McKenzie Management for the Business Course for Office Managers with an open mind and a commitment to making things better in her practice.  Together we defined the areas that needed improvement in all business systems and then we worked on the specific issue of staff management.   We changed her title to Business Administrator to dispel the negativity that the title “Office Manager” had implied.

Since she had worked in the practice for ten years, there was some resistance to her promotion. Not every practice has a Business Administrator who is involved with staff management duties. Very often, these duties are that of the dentist CEO. We often find that people placed in this position are ill equipped to handle staffing issues as they arise, but can benefit tremendously with coaching and training.

Before coming to the training, I asked Suzie to provide the practice’s Mission Statement and practice Vision.  In order to get this information she needed to meet with the doctors and share with them goals and performance expectations.  She found this to be very insightful.  Also important to the training was the “Office Policy Manual” and job descriptions for all staff members.  “We haven’t looked at the job descriptions for a few years and there are a couple of new employees who do not have job descriptions; our policy manual is very basic and does not cover every question I get from the staff”, explained Suzie.

After defining job descriptions and areas of accountability for all staff members we were able to set up standards for performance measurements.  Performance reviews are not salary reviews.  A performance review can be given when there is questionable performance and includes a timeline for improvement or on a yearly basis if there are no outstanding issues. McKenzie Management has an excellent Performance Measurement Manual to take the guesswork out of developing this system.

We addressed the Office Policy Manual that they had and identified necessary changes to cover issues of time off, raises, job performance etc.  Having a standard office policy establishes a system that everyone must operate within. Studies show that people work more productively if there are standards in place and a clear understanding of office policies.

We next discussed Suzie’s role as the Business Administrator.  Developing a “team-building” attitude was necessary for Suzie’s success in her new role.  Consider the following when developing a system for meeting the needs of the team.

  • Vision for the practice and where each team member fits in to the picture stressing the importance of their contributions.
  • Training and support to get the job done.  Includes computer software training, customer service training and other technical training.
  • Respect for each other’s work and an understanding of how each contributes to the success of the practice.
  • Communication about how each individual is doing with job feedback on an ongoing basis.
  • Solutions to barriers.  The staff needs to feel they can come to you for answers to problems.
  • Freedom to do their jobs at the best of their abilities without being micro-managed and stymied.  Freedom to suggest new ideas without criticism and judgment.

Very important to “team-building” for Suzie was to get the doctors involved and supportive of the training that she had received.  A suggestion was made that the new team attend a Team-Building Retreat offered by McKenzie Management and directed by leadership coach Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

For more information about our courses and products for success, call today and speak to one of our McKenzie Management professionals.

For more information on McKenzie's Advanced Training Programs for Office Managers and Front Office, email training@mckenziemgmt.com, call 1-877-777-6151 or visit our web-site at www.mckenziemgmt.com.
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