Get Team Members More Involved in Practice Success
If you want to motivate team members to contribute more to practice success, you have to create a culture that makes them feel valued. They should know they’re an important part of the decision-making process and that you want to hear their ideas on how to move the practice forward.
Unfortunately, many of the team members I talk to don’t feel this way. These frustrated employees don’t bother to give input because they’re pretty sure the doctor will find an excuse not to make the suggested changes, or will shut them down before they even get the suggestion out. So instead of problem solving and brain storming ways to boost patient retention numbers or improve collections efforts, they keep their opinions to themselves and let the doctor handle everything on his own.
The truth is, your team members want to contribute to practice success and be part of a collaborative process. If they feel left out, it could hurt their morale, their production and even lead to turnover.
Creating a truly collaborative environment requires a commitment to identifying and exploring ways team members can excel in their roles – which leads to a happier, more productive team and more successful practice. That’s why I suggest you not only hold daily morning huddles in your practice, but monthly team meetings as well. Set aside time to discuss any issues that come up and look for opportunities to improve. When properly organized, these meetings give team members the chance to offer their input and insights, and help you develop a plan for practice success.
How long should these meetings last? I suggest you set aside about two hours each month. While that might seem like a lot, it really isn’t. I guarantee the time you spend will be well worth it.
To keep on task, have one of your team members compile an agenda that everyone contributes to. This will keep the meeting running smoothly and shows team members you truly want to hear from them. It also gives them a chance to prepare so they can update everyone on the systems they’re accountable for. Make sure the agenda includes standard items that you plan to continually monitor, such as new patient numbers, collections, recall patients, treatment acceptance, production, overhead, number of patients with unscheduled treatment, unscheduled time units for all producers and accounts receivable.
Once it’s ready, post the agenda in a place team members can see it. Encourage them to add items as issues come up throughout the month. For example, if broken appointments are on the rise, mentioning the problem during the morning huddle probably isn’t enough. Add it to the monthly meeting agenda so you and your team can have a more involved discussion.
Put the most critical issues on top of the agenda. That way, you have plenty of time to talk about them. It’s also a good idea to figure out how much time you should spend discussing each topic. Task a team member with leading the group and keeping everyone on point.
Once you go over the critical systems, you might also want to pencil in time to talk about scheduling goals. Find out if the Scheduling Coordinator faces specific barriers that keep the practice from meeting scheduling goals each month. Once these barriers are identified, work with the group to come up with strategies to break through those barriers. Everyone should give their input. And don’t worry if you hear conflicting views. This will fuel the discussion and help you determine the best solution.
If you want to achieve success, you have to plan for it. That’s why these monthly staff meetings are so important. For a few hours every month, you and your team members focus all your energy on identifying issues that are holding your practice back and then work together to fix them. This level of collaboration motivates employees to excel in their roles. They see that you value their opinion, and are happy to do their part to help the practice thrive.
Remember, you can’t achieve success on your own. Your team is there to help and support you, and these meetings represent a great opportunity for them to do just that.
Feel like you need more support and guidance to meet your practice goals? Feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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