5.27.16 Issue #742 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

How to Turn Feedback into Positive Action
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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You’ve finally committed to offering your team members feedback every day. You know giving them the guidance they need to succeed will improve efficiencies and practice productivity, not to mention boost your bottom line. That’s great, but it doesn’t end there. If you want to create real change in your practice, employees must be willing to accept feedback and then take action.

So how do you make that happen? First, I suggest you have your employees read this article. I’ve put together six tips designed to help employees take feedback, whether they receive it from you or another team member, and turn it into positive action. I want to help ensure feedback doesn’t go to waste, and leads to changes that will help your practice achieve true success and profitability. Here are my tips:

1. Don’t take constructive comments as criticism. Some employees find any type of criticism difficult to take. They only want to hear how well they’re doing, not what they need to improve. To turn this around, ask employees to take a good look at how they respond to suggestions and comments, and remind them to not take feedback personally. No one is trying to be critical; the goal is to help everyone excel in their roles so they can contribute to practice success.

Employees should ask themselves these questions about how they respond to constructive comments:
- Am I defensive?
- Do I take the comments as a personal attack?
- Do my feelings get hurt?
- Do I become angry when someone recommends I do something differently?
- Do I dismiss feedback if it comes from someone I don’t like?

Make sure team members understand the importance of separating themselves from the action. They should look at feedback as an objective view of a specific task or procedure. The person offering the feedback only wants to help them grow and excel in their role.

2. Ask for feedback. If your employees want to become more comfortable receiving and acting on feedback, they should ask for it. We simply can’t see ourselves as others do, which is why feedback is so vital. Constructive feedback helps your employees see the unprofessional habits they didn’t even realize they’d developed, giving them the opportunity to change them. Once they learn to embrace it, feedback will help your team members grow as professionals and meet their full potential.

3. Don’t be concerned about offending your co-workers. While it’s important for team members to know how to handle feedback, they should also be encouraged to offer it. Unfortunately, many employees bite their tongues because they don’t want to offend anyone. So while feelings are spared, nothing changes and the practice suffers. 

I suggest creating a culture that encourages feedback among team members. After all, this is the best way to continuously improve systems, customer service and patient care. Just remember, whether feedback is coming from the doctor or another team member, the conversation should be kept as positive as possible and suggestions should be offered politely.

4. Ask questions. Make sure team members don’t just shrug feedback off. Some might think the person offering the feedback doesn’t know what they are talking about or might just be in a bad mood, especially if the person giving the feedback is angry. Rather than ignoring it, team members should ask questions to better understand where their co-worker is coming from. They might even want to set up a time to talk later. That way, they can both respond calmly and work together to develop a plan to fix the problem.

5. Thank them. When someone offers feedback, team members should thank that person for taking the time to help them improve, even if they don’t necessarily agree with the comments or suggestions. Remind employees to focus on the substance of the message, rather than what they might perceive as a negative tone from the messenger.

6. Write everything down. Every time employees receive feedback, they should write it down. Encourage them to think about the comments and then come up with three to five steps to help them start implementing changes and making improvements.

Most people don’t want to hear when they’re doing something wrong, but trust me, fostering an environment that encourages both positive and constructive feedback will strengthen your team and help your practice thrive. Just make sure team members don’t ignore feedback or become angry when someone suggests handling tasks in a different way. Train them to take positive action and make necessary changes. This will not only help them grow, it will help you increase production numbers and your bottom line.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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