When you hire your staff (if you didn’t inherit them with the practice), you are choosing them for certain qualities and skills required by the position you are filling. It’s quite a feat to select the right candidate that you will work so closely with and entrust the success of your practice to. You are often thrown together in a small space for more waking hours than you spend with your own spouse. Add into the mix, a full range of emotional patients or clients to throw off your games and WOW, life can be interesting in a practice!
But do you really know these team players beyond the set skills you asked for?
Besides her or his experience for the position that you hired a staff member for, may lie a whole treasure of hidden talents that just don’t come up in every day conversation but may add to your practice to improve the service levels.
For instance, a staff member who was hired to do telephone work at our company turned out not to be ideal at that, but other talents were revealed when circumstances required it, such as: she is a fully certified computer technician and seems to be able to fix anything digital or electronic; she is a chef graduated from a 4-year program (this is our favourite talent); she has one of the best can-do attitudes we have ever experienced; can organize almost anything; and is an expert at anything you can source out help for on Mr. Google (her best friend). She gets things DONE!
Another example is an assistant who is a bit difficult to deal with as an assistant. She asked to hold the reception position while that person is off on mat leave. Suddenly she is shining and loves the interaction with the patients and seems like an entirely different person. She found her niche.
Willingness to Learn New Things
Perhaps you will find you have a potential digital marketing genius on your team (like another team member of ours) who can help with your website and SEO (Search Engine Optimization – equally important to having a website), or can make Facebook Ads that work to attract new patients or clients, or can get you set up with Google Ad Words and/or Google Plus. A monthly email newsletter to your whole database could be within their scope or could be learned and thus improve your marketing another notch.
Watch for the Signs
When you have staff meetings and discuss marketing or other aspects of the practice, watch for who perks up and is interested in taking on projects or who is coming up with good ideas. Let them run with the project and see what happens.
Ask staff what their hidden talents are. Get to know them and the other interests that they have. Some just love organizing things and can control inventory like nobody’s business. Perhaps another has the patience to deal with insurance companies or government branches. What volunteer work do they do? Others may love organizing open houses or trade shows or street fairs.
Sometimes these can be very defining and stifling, and occasionally you may need to shift and shuffle some duties to the staff member who has the most interest in that function. It may give them a feeling of competence to do what they are best at as well as making their position more interesting and fun.
Go ahead and get to know your team and see what you find out. You will probably be very surprised. And the results could make the practice more successful through utilization of the hidden talents of your own team!
You might also like: “Are You Over Or Under Staffed?”