When you were growing up, did your family ever have a jar wherein notes were placed of “chores” that needed doing, fixing, etc.? Maybe you yourself have one right now? Or at least you have heard of the “chore jar” concept?
First off, I am not suggesting that you have a chore jar for the practice, as I don’t think of production and organizational actions as “chores”. But as a concept, it is not a bad idea. Anyone who thinks that there is nothing more to do in a practice to take it to the next level is just not looking … in fact, there are usually endless functions, actions and projects that could be or should be done.
Here’s the game …
The first step is to have a meeting or a huddle to make a list of projects, actions, ideas that need to be carried out, marketing actions, clean ups of files or computers, systems that need to be implemented (e.g. job descriptions written up, protocols worked out in writing, policy manual updates, thank you cards system for people who referred you a new patient) etc. etc.).
I bet that if you think carefully as a team about all aspects of your practice and really put your heads together, there is something that needs to be done as a project to upgrade each area or make something more efficient, or give better service to the patients.
Write out all those things onto sticky notes (yellow post-it notes) and figure out a deadline for when you want all of them completed. The bigger projects may need their own individual time lines. But let’s say most of them can be done in 21 days if everyone pitches in and comes in a little early or stays a little late or takes a shorter lunch hour … good team players will figure this out.
This is where a bonus can be worked out such as a $5 Timmy’s or Starbucks card for small jobs, and maybe $25 for mid-sized jobs and upwards for really stellar contributions on bigger projects. Or maybe a better way to do this would be to have a team reward when everything is done. That way everyone pitches in to get everything done by the deadline.
Who Gets to Do What
Then organize who is going to take on each one. You COULD do the classic Chore Jar method of putting all the jobs on slips of paper and put them in a jar and people get to do what they pull out of the jar. This might not be efficient and if so, dream up some alternatives … I’m sure you have bright staff who will come up with some ideas.
You could have a “reporting station” (bulletin board in lunch room or a cupboard door) where each sticky note or slip of paper is put up so everyone can see the speed with which things are getting completed.
Keep in mind that this is a team game where everyone pitches in together to make the deadline date for completion.
And then what?
Some systems may result from this that should be entered into the Policy Manual so they become standard actions, and so future staff will also be able to learn about them when they start at your practice and read the Policy Manual (hint).
And it is my guess that if you have the good staff I think you do, you will find that many more ideas for bettering the practice will come up and you can actually do a follow-up Chore Jar game.
People like to make work into games (if they have not gone “job dead”) and these ideas when they are done also usually translate into increased business for the practice and afterall, treating patients is what y’all are there for anyway!
Let me know what ideas your team came up with for the game. And have fun!