When was the last time you added a new team member to your practice?
Was it last month? The last quarter? Or has it been many years?
Now, most importantly, when was the last time you trained your team members in the art of a well run chiropractic office?
If you are like a many of the practices we work with, you have regular team meetings where training can be addressed. If you don’t hold regular team meetings and team training, you are likely spending a lot of time putting out fires.
In this case “fire” means a problem that has not been anticipated by established policies and procedures in your office. It must be handled by a time consuming (and focus consuming) communication, consideration, and decision process. To make matters worse, these on-the-spot decisions, quickly considered, are often the basis for a future problem or crisis.
In other words, the hasty answer to today’s problem can actually become the source of tomorrow’s problem: another “fire.”
Here are a few steps you can take to avoid being the “Fire Marshal” (or the “Accidental Arsonist”) in your practice. Save yourself from having to be constantly on the lookout for new fires that can ruin your practice growth and momentum.
Keep it simple and install this process in 4 basic steps.
Step One: Make a commitment to have regular team meetings.
If you are not committed 100% to this in your practice, you will not succeed with long term change or improvement. It is human nature to settle for the status quo. Inertia will take over. And, in short order, you will be back at the level of chaos you were experiencing. Get excited about leaving that chaos behind you! You deserve the peace that you can generate in your practice and your life when you commit to focus on on-going training.
Step Two: Encourage and engage your team members.
Once you are clear about the benefits of regular team meetings, communicate it to your staff, encourage them to fully participate, by not just reporting problems in the practice, but bringing YOU solutions. They are the “boots on the ground” and often know exactly what needs to be done to improve the practice. When they are part of developing solutions, they take ownership and pride in implementing needed changes. They too deserve more peace, order and job-satisfaction: just like you do. Lead them in creating that in your practice. Your patients deserve it too.
Step Three: Devote a minimum of 10% of your time to meeting, training and infrastructure.
Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth book series calls this step “working ON your business” instead of “working IN your business.” Some work time must be set aside and devoted to the improvement of your business. This cannot be done while you are actually serving/treating your patients in your practice. You must have doors locked to patients while you are working on creating a better environment and better service for your patients. Ideally, this is 4 hours of the typical 40 hour work week. It is often effective to use that time like this: one hour of training, one hour of meeting, and the balance of the time is used for the paperwork; problem-solving and self-evaluation that are needed to maintain any healthy business.
Step Four: Self-evaluations at least quarterly.
Set aside time to look at how you are progressing. How well are sticking to your commitment of improved meeting time? Training time? “Working ON the business?” This is critical to your success. The first benefit of self-assessment is the fact that what gets measured gets done, or what is inspected is respected. If you know you will be holding a self-evaluation every 3 months, you are more likely to keep your weekly commitments to training, meeting and constantly improving your practice.
When you are not reduced to perpetually putting out fires, you will be amazed at the increased growth, calm and fun that can be had in practice again. This will result in improved service to your patients and improved practice enjoyment. You deserve the great benefits that will come from implementing this simple 4 step system.
This content is by Dr. Ray Foxworth. To read more about Dr. Foxworth, click here. You should seek expert counsel in evaluating opinions, treatments, products and services. For more info see our Editorial Policies.