What is the difference between one practice stumbling along with over-stressed employees and another running smoothly with a happy staff? The answer: leadership.

Leadership begins with you, the doctor/owner. Your staff wants to do a great job. They want to wake up in the morning and feel good about going to work. They rely on you to give them the knowledge they need in order to take charge of their position. The bottom line, though, is they need the direction you provide.

Direction starts with training. Most offices do not spend enough time training their staff. Training shows your team how you want things done and eliminates the guessing game. No one can read your mind. Many doctors get frustrated with their staff because they don’t do things the way they want them done. This frustration leads to a stressed-out staff, which ultimately results in a disgruntled team and negative work environment.

Training requires a guide, a manual, or a complete job description of the position’s daily requirements. This is not a to-do list, but rather a step-by-step cookbook on how to perform every aspect of one’s job. For example, complete, written-out phone scenarios help a team member effectively answer the most common questions a patient may ask when calling the office.

This guide needs to include everything everyone does in the entire office. Even more importantly, the guide clearly spells out the practice’s philosophy (also known as the mission statement). This lets the staff know how you want your patients to be treated by every team member.

Training is only a single part—even though it is a major one—of the team management process, which also includes:

  1. Proper communication between you and your staff.
  2. Goal-setting and putting incentives in place to achieve practice goals.
  3. Effective team meetings to keep your staff focused.
  4. Building your team’s spirit with trust and growth through continuing education programs and promotions.

Whatever your office goals might be, you need great staff, and it is up to you to lead your employees. The most productive use of your time is to encourage and motivate those working for you. Top Practices provides the resources you need to become an exceptional leader. Remember, leaders are not born, they are made! 

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