I have two staff members that have been with me for a few years and the rest are new with less than six months with the practice.
I have a feeling when I’m in surgery, there’s not a ton getting done, actually I know for a fact, one of the staff is spending a lot of time on wedding websites since she’s getting married.
What can I do to keep staff busy ALL of the time – whether I’m there or not?
Dear Dr. D,
Thanks for that question. It’s not uncommon for surgeons to wonder what goes on when they are in surgery or at a conference or simply away from the practice..
You hope your staff is as productive without you there as they are with you there but you don’t really know, do you?
And, does it seem like no matter how many staff you add to your payroll, they still say they don’t have time to do what you want and they want to hire more staff?
And since you have to rely on them, its almost impossible for you to know if that’s true or if something else is going on.
But in the meantime, you bring more people on board, then your payroll gets out of hand and pretty soon you are working just to keep up with the overhead.
Here’s what you can do to get a handle on who’s doing what so you have peace of mind:
Define Your Standards
This is when you take off your surgeon hat and put on your leader/visionary hat. Staff looks to you for direction to lead them with clarity and certainty.
You must set standards they live by. Otherwise, you have staff sliding through the day with minimal effort instead of rising to the challenge of being their best.
Tell them what your vision is for how you want the practice to grow. Explain to them how you want to set up your practice to be positioned against your competitors so you stand out as the best choice.
Constantly remind staff what your goals are for the practice and how intricate each one of them is to your success since you can’t do this alone.
That means staff must know what is expected of them – in much more detail than you probably think.
You can’t leave things to chance and you can’t keep saying, “They should know that”. Get it in writing.
The goal is to be specific about the results you expect and let them figure out how to get it done.
This is what engages them, gets their creative juices flowing and raises their standards for themselves as well as for the practice.