Is Your Business Team Sitting in the Appropriate Seats for their Personality?
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant
Have you taken the time to observe your business team’s individual personalities? Are they outgoing and struggling to stay on task, or quiet and steady? Do they tend to “command” an audience? Is there someone who never speaks up at the monthly meetings, or perhaps someone who’s a “chatterbox”? There’s no “right or wrong” personality type, however, there are personalities better suited for specific job descriptions, and having employees in the “wrong seat” can affect their ability to be productive and happy.
Seats = Power?
Let’s assume you have three business team members and they have specific seats they sit in throughout the day. Do these seats have a “pecking order” in terms of seniority or power? They shouldn’t, but it’s interesting to observe their reaction when an employee is moved from one seat to another. It’s like relocating the Empire State Building! The main point is to be concerned with what tasks are associated with the seats in the office space.
Seats = Job Descriptions
Let’s first assume there are specific job descriptions for the three employees in the business area: Schedule Coordinator, Financial Coordinator and Patient/Hygiene Coordinator. If you have an Office Manager, usually she/he is responsible for one of these job descriptions as well, unless you have a very large practice with many employees, requiring an Office Manager whose primary responsibility is to “manage” the office and all the tasks that come along with that job description.
So if the three employees do have specific job descriptions, their job descriptions determine where they sit. It is that simple. Below is an example of how you can determine where your business team should be sitting.
This coordinator is primarily responsible for the doctor schedule and making appointments, as well as the management of information from patients, such as demographic information, as well as the task of greeting everyone with a smile and a name, opposed to a “…and you are?” This person, for example, could not sit in a seat that is not near the reception room door in order to greet patients and to be able to make their next appointment upon leaving.
She/he checks-out the patient, which may include presenting treatment as well as collecting monies that are due and reviewing their expected portion for the next appointment. When not processing patients, this job description may oversee the accounts receivable, delinquent insurance and billing. This person must be located in the seat that’s easiest to access from the clinical area and hopefully has some privacy.
This coordinator is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the hygiene recall intervals, the recall system itself, the 5 steps of recall follow-up for the past 12 months, as well as confirming that the hygienists are scheduled to their daily goal each day. He/she can also take all incoming new patient calls and oversee marketing for the practice.
Personality = Job Description = Seat
All business team members should have their personalities evaluated to confirm they are in the right seat. This will also correspond with the right job description. For instance, Julie is very friendly, never meets a stranger, and enjoys the art of communication. Her attributes may be wasted as a Financial Coordinator whose focus is on collecting money. Joe is really good with numbers, doesn’t like to be interrupted and is the “steady Eddie” – he would pull his hair out sitting at the check-in seat. This personality type is typically quieter than other team members, very task-driven, and prefers a controlled environment with no interruptions. Susie, the friendly and customer-service oriented Schedule Coordinator, enjoys the challenge of a multitude of tasks at the same time. She would not be happy being away from seeing patients or interacting with them.
Review your business team job descriptions to see if they are helping or hindering your practice potential. Consider taking the online Employee Assessment Test offered by McKenzie Management to see if you have the right people in the right seat.
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