In analyzing practices and chatting with practice owners, the most common subject they bring up is “staff issues”. Interestingly enough, the “issues” are widely variable from practice to practice. However, about 75% of the problems relate to communication as a general category.
Let’s look at these “staff issues” and some solutions.
Your Most Valuable Asset
The service you deliver, if it is to be done in quantity, requires that you have staff to assist you from the front to the back usually. (Of course, you can stay small and do everything with only your own two hands, but that is definitely going to limit your net take home income).(For more info please read: “ARE YOU OVER OR UNDER STAFFED?“). This means that your staff are a vital asset to your practice and it is important to have the happiest, best performing team possible for the sake of your patients and your own sanity.
Therefore, it is very key to start sorting out any staff issues from a positive attitude. 95% of your staff DO want to work for you and do a good job, even when it doesn’t seem so on the surface. Willingness to do what is needed is something that needs constant checking and ensuring it is there when you give them orders. If you are jamming orders and policy down their throats without accessing their understanding and willingness, it may result in resentment and non-compliance to your directions. Work to get agreement.
Asking for Ideas
Intelligent, proactive staff are a lot like you … they are constantly thinking about how to improve the practice or make it expand or run more smoothly. Encourage your team to do this and bring forward their ideas to you. This can be in a written format, or in a staff meeting setting, or even privately in a meeting with you before or after work.
This doesn’t mean that every one of your ideas or theirs are going to feasible or doable, but you want every one being creative and you will have some really earth shattering ideas come forth some times.
Production and Morale
If there is a lack of hot and furious production, and the staff have time on their hands to stand around and chat or text their friends, you are inevitably going to have staff issues. Low production leads to low morale and a lot of bitching about each other. Keep focussed on constantly improving productivity in quantity and quality and there will be more positive attitudes.
Fun and Games
Constantly planning upcoming events for the practice (Easter, Halloween, car rally), fun days or evenings (lunch, dinner), special events (open house for the practice), having a float or a booth in the annual town fair, etc. – these activities give extra sparkle to the everyday work of a practice. Everyone (except for the staff you shouldn’t have) look forward to these activities, and it pulls them forward in time with anticipation instead of sitting in boredom where nothing ever changes.
So there you have it!
Lots of communication, ensuring willingness, excellent ideas and a good dose of fun will help with most staff issues.
Implement some of the above and see the difference.