I was thinking about all the good staff who flank their bosses and give them the ability to deliver the highest quality service in their practices. From all reports over the years, I gather this is not always easy and can often be stressful. Many of you deserve gold medals … no, make that platinum and diamond medals.
What are the qualities that make a staff member a “good staff member?” The answer to this can vary from practice owner to practice owner as they too come in many varieties. Sometimes it is merely having the staff member show up on time for work and not chew gum at the front desk. Low standards and so low quality delivery would also be the problem with that practice.
As most people are always interested in how they can improve, let’s make a list of the positive qualities of a good staff member to see how to become the ideal staff member. These are not in any particular order of importance.
Cares about people.
This includes caring about the owner of the practice, the patients and clients of the practice and about their teammates. Staff deal with a very wide assortment of people all day long in a busy practice, and some may not even be someone you would want to associate with. Putting care into everyone and sincerely wanting the patient to have the best possible service is a valuable ability.
Has a positive attitude.
Having a “can do” attitude towards handling any difficult situation is ALWAYS appreciated by a boss (whether acknowledged or not). Having a staff member who is full of “it can’t be done,” “I’m too overloaded,” or “it’s not my job to do that” is SO exasperating and unwanted. The shining stars in a practice always pull off miracles and strive to create an ideal scene.
Considers their job to be an important part of their life.
Some staff are just “putting in time for a pay cheque” and those that do that are actually making their own lives less than perfect. Those who CREATE on their jobs and work to making the practice a better place every day are going to have more fun, their day is more interesting and they will feel a sense of accomplishment.
This is prized by all bosses … an employee who figures out what is needed and wanted and without having to be told to do it, just gets it done. There is NEVER a moment in a practice when there is nothing to be done. Past charts can be called or written to, recalls or reminder calls can be done, email newsletters can be created and sent out monthly, other marketing opportunities can be researched, … the list goes on and on. Good staff members look, look, look for ways to grow the practice and deliver better service. Good staff never do personal texting or emailing nor take personal phone calls during work hours.
Has an eye for detail.
Careful staff who pay attention to details and make few mistakes are gems! While there are times one has to rush, good staff keep “in the moment” and still observe the details. Perfectionists strive to do it right.
Thinks about the good of the practice.
True team players are extremely valuable assets in a practice. They realize that if the practice does poorly then there will not be raises or bonuses and maybe eventually, not even a job. Good staff work to create a successful practice that delivers awesome service.
Has a good game face.
When a staff member comes into the practice in a bad mood or grumpy or ticked off by something, it can contaminate the moods of the boss, the other staff and even the patients and worsen their days. Good staff have the ability to put all that away and put on their “game face” and bring sparkle to others around them.
Has a sense of humour.
Sometimes things just happen and not always for the good and you just have to laugh and then figure out how to put it right. Some patients are just plain difficult and you need to keep a sense of humour with them and not let them rumple your otherwise fun day. A good staff member helps others around them who may not be having the best of times by trying to lighten their day a bit.
Is honest and trustworthy.
How many times have we heard from practice owners that it is hard to trust their staff … sometimes with regards to all the monies that pass through their hands. Other times they mean trusting their staff to be honest and come forward if they have made a mistake and say “I goofed” and help to create a way to fix it.
Is well groomed and reflects well on the practice.
Good staff realize that how they look in terms of hair, clothing, make-up, etc. all reflect back on the quality of the practice and what kind of service can be expected. Sloppy, unpressed clothes or uniforms, messy hair (or inappropriate colorings) can turn off potential patients or clients of the practice.
To sum it up
There are probably many more qualities that I did not mention, but the above are crucial ones to attain and maintain. Have fun working on being perfect!