The only way you can run your practice without constantly having to be present is by empowering your staff to take charge. This means you, the owner, have to let go and not constantly micromanage. I know this is easier said than done, but it is possible, and in fact, not as hard as it seems.
Knowledge is Power
The first step in empowering your staff is to provide them with knowledge. Do not assume your staff knows what you want. Every staff member should have a complete job description. This is not just a list of duties, but an actual step-by-step “cookbook” on how to perform each task.
In addition, they should know the final outcome for their role. For instance, if the staff member works at the front desk, what is their purpose? They might think it is to answer the phone. That is only partly correct. There are other factors involved. How should they answer the phone? Do you have a phone scenario of how to make an appointment?
Also, don’t just assume they know their purpose is to make an appointment. It is amazing how many people call a doctor’s office without getting an appointment. Really, her purpose is not only to make an appointment, but also to make sure the patients keep their appointments, to keep your schedule full with productive patients, and to collect all monies due at the time of service.
Train Right the First Time
If the receptionist knows this is her primary role, then all they have to do is learn how to actually do it. That is the next step: training. You must not underestimate the importance of training. It is truly the difference between a good office and a great one.
Training should be done slowly over time. Everyone learns at different speeds, so you need to understand how fast or slow you should go. Keep in mind, too, that training should never be done live. You should have a complete office manual with every system and protocol written out and train all employees one on one with this manual from the day they start. Then you will need to demonstrate to the new hire how everything should be done. After demonstrating, you should sit with the new hire and watch him or her perform these tasks.
The ultimate goal is that each and every employee will have a complete grasp of the job: what is expected of her, the purpose of her role, and how to actually do everything they need to do. That way your employees able to do everything themselves, without you hover nearing by to make sure it gets done. Then you can give your employees the trust they need to be truly empowered.
For more information about the Top Practices Practice Management Institute or any of our other programs, email us at [email protected] or call us at (717) 725-2679.
Read Part Two