Don’t Use a Hammer to Make Change

When renovating an office, a hammer can be a very valuable tool for banging nails into place and effecting a positive change in the physical appearance of the practice. However, trying to hammer administrative changes into the office staff may not be nearly as effective!

Not everyone is a fan of change

For some staff and practitioners, change has not always been a positive force in their lives and they have gotten into set ways of doing things as a protective mechanism. “Go with what you know” rather than experimenting with new ideas or ways of accomplishing change seems safer to some. “But we’ve always done it this way!” becomes the cry from a staff member or even the practice owner when alterations or refinements are suggested.

Effectively making changes

Times are changing in terms of technology and techniques, and this affects the human side of the practice too, both for the staff and for the patients. So on-going change will therefore be a fact of life if one wants to evolve and grow the practice.

How you go about introducing changes into the practice can influence the chances of success. If you just go up to the staff and say, “this is now the way you are going to do things from now on,” you are not likely to build up a lot of agreement and get much in the way of compliance.

Align Purposes

Look at the purpose of your practice (your mission statement). If it is a worthwhile purpose, all the staff will want to get behind it and push in that direction.

Most staff want to deliver a high quality service and alignment of all actions towards that end will meet with agreement.

When you are looking at introducing a change in systems or structure or policy, you need to show how the change will help enhance the attainment of the purpose. This way you are not “hammering” them with sudden, unexplained change but rather encouraging them in a positive direction.

Follow-up is Important

After introducing a change in methodology or systems, a good executive will follow up to get feedback from the staff as to the effectiveness of the change. Sometimes slight modifications will be necessary, and sometimes it simply is not working and needs to be scrapped. However, if the change meets with increased production, then it should be documented and become policy that it is now the way to do things.

As time goes along, a vigilant executive may find that the new system has been dropped out and needs to be pushed back into place. It can take a little time to make new ways permanent and fully functional. Be persistent and insistent.

Think of one thing that you want changed and use the above steps. See what happens. Have fun!

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