How to Conduct a Successful Monthly Meeting
It is understandable why you don’t have monthly meetings. Historically, no one participates - so when everything gets quiet, the complaining begins. After about 20 minutes of listening to unsolvable issues and “finger pointing” you adjourn the meeting and remind yourself that you will NEVER do this again no matter how many consultants write that it is important. Having an outline to follow and guidelines for you and the team will help you to have successful and productive monthly meetings.
Monthly meetings should be held first thing in the morning as early as possible, when all the staff will be in attendance. Consider using Skype or a conference call if you have employees that cannot attend. Typically, a productive meeting will last 90-120 minutes, depending on the number of “Action Items” you have to discuss monthly. Bring bagels or some other snack as a “thank you” for coming early. These meetings should also be blocked off in the practice schedule at least six months in advance to avoid having to change patients’ appointments.
Step 1 - Establish a Meeting Coordinator
Step 2 - Gather Agenda Items
Step 3 - Action Items
The Meeting Coordinator is also responsible for typing up the amended agenda items, if there are any, as well as obtaining copies of your current monthly practice statistics monitor for the entire team. In addition, a copy of the updated action items list needs to be available for everyone. Action items are created from the agenda items that are discussed, including a description of the action, who is responsible for the completion of the action, and when it is due to be completed. This list is very important, as it is your “road map” of where you want to go each month.
Step 4 - The Meeting
As the doctor, you may need to help “draw conclusions” for the agenda items so they are converted into action items, as well as make sure they are assigned to a particular person, when applicable. Often the entire team is responsible for implementing the action item, such as: Ask at least 2 patients each day for a referral. It is also important that someone takes notes of the items discussed and the new action items that are created in order for them to be added to the existing list. Usually, someone in the office is responsible for keeping the action plan updated.
Step 5 - Prepare for Next Meeting
Remember that agenda items can be tabled until the next meeting because you are not in a position to make a decision at that time, or you may table it indefinitely. You are the boss and you run the business. Do it in a kind manner and always thank your team for bringing agenda items to the table for discussion. It will keep the lines of communication open and safe.
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