The biggest challenge you face in running your own practice is staff. Hands down. Don’t be blindsided by your staff!
That’s because you are dealing with human beings full of beliefs, thoughts and feelings. Staff is a moving target that is always changing.
Their circumstances change. Their feelings about work change and it goes on and on. Don’t be blindsided by staff.
This affects you big time when you are building a team you are proud of and can count on to have your back. But here’s what happens too often that can blindside you…
You have a staff person who simply no-shows, never to be heard from again.
Or your key employee hands in their resignation and will be leaving at the end of the week.
Or someone who was an excellent employee suddenly goes bad and you have no idea why.
But here’s the thing… this should not be a surprise and you should not be blindsided. Things don’t just happen. There are always signs that lead up to being blindsided by staff. But you are so busy and focused on running a practice that you often miss them so here’s what you do:
Hopefully, you have a manager who works with the staff, who can help prevent being blindsided. So, have them take each staff person separately out for coffee and away from the office. A local Starbucks works well since that’s a relaxing place.
You can do this twice per year to just check in or do it when you sense something is off with that staff person and you want to address it before it grows into something more serious.
This is not an annual review where the staff will expect a raise. This is a simple coffee coaching session where you are checking in with the staff person to see how things are going with them, and in effect, greatly lessen the chance of being blindsided by staff.
First, have them complete a simple skills self-assessment as they see it. Have them rate themselves 1–5 for skills such as punctuality, attitude, being a team player, quality of their work, customer service skills, willingness to chip in and so on.
Check their answers against yours and discuss the ones where you came up with widely different ratings to hear their point of view and they to hear yours. It’s interesting and important to see how they perceive themselves vs. how others perceive them.
Now ask open-ended questions to get their feedback such as:
This is where you learn what is happening in the office that you might not know about and/or what is happening in their personal lives that is affecting their work.
This coffee coaching session acts as a sounding board, so your staff feels heard and understood and that you care about them as an employee and as a person.
That’s how you mitigate the blindside. Don’t be blindsided by staff.
Catherine Maley, MBA is a cosmetic practice consultant, speaker, trainer, blogger and podcaster. Her popular book, “Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients Are Saying” is read and studied by plastic surgeons and their staff all over the world.
She and her team specialize in growing plastic surgery practices using creative patient attraction, conversion, follow up and retention strategies as well as staff training to turn team members into converting rock stars.
Click below to read “Don’t be Blindsided by Staff…” in its original format in Aesthetic Society News, Winter 2023, volume 27, number 1.