7.20.12 Issue #541 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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How to Conduct a Successful Monthly Meeting
By Nancy Caudill

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
Everyone in the office takes a turn being the Meeting Coordinator opposed to you or someone else always leading the discussion. This balances the power and empowers everyone to accept the task on a rotating basis. So, you need a volunteer for your first meeting, and then at that meeting and all subsequent meetings, someone else volunteers for the next meeting.

Step 2 - Gather Agenda Items
A white board, a suggestion box or some mechanism needs to be available for the staff to write down items that they feel would be beneficial to discuss with the entire office.  Items do come up during the month and one could forget it by the time the monthly meeting day has arrived, so better to write them down as staff members become aware of them. For example: Discuss how to schedule new Ortho patient.

Step 3 - Action Items
Three days prior to the meeting, the Meeting Coordinator will type up the agenda items that were written by the staff and present the list to you for your review, as well as any additions or deletions you may have. Yes, you have “veto power” and may elect to either postpone or not discuss any of the items. You may find that an item would be better handled one-on-one with the member of your team that has the concern opposed to discussing it with everyone.

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
The Meeting Coordinator begins the meeting by passing out the copies of the practice statistics, updated action plan and the meeting agenda. In this order, the Meeting Coordinator moves through these 3 steps. With the responsible party discussing the practice statistics they are responsible for, the updated action plan is reviewed by those responsible for completion or to confirm that it is in motion, and the new agenda items are discussed.

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
Before the meeting is adjourned, as mentioned earlier, a volunteer offers to conduct the next monthly meeting. The meeting notes are given to the person that is responsible for keeping the action plan updated, and the practice statistics sheet is collected from each team member and shredded, as it includes proprietary practice information.

Improved Communication
One of the top concerns stated by employees all across the country is a lack of communication between the business and clinical teams, as well as the doctor. Conducting monthly meetings encourages positive and productive discussions and gives everyone in the office a “voice” - which is very important.

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.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com

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