Ten Ways to Nurture One of Your Greatest Assets

Behind every great physician is a motivated, appreciated and empowered staff. Noted marketing guru and change-agent Seth Godin calls them “Linchpins” (which is also the title of his latest book if you are looking for a good read).  Here are a few tips on keeping your team in tip-top shape. 

  1. Hire the right staff.  Research and use some of the assessment tools available to help you hire the correct person for the specific job responsibilities.
  2. Empower your staff to make decisions.  And be sure to set up the necessary systems so that they can do so.
  3. Provide feedback.  Praise them, especially when they go above and beyond or when patients share positive experiences.  And provide correction privately in a positive and encouraging manner.
  4. Teach your staff to answer the phone cheerfully and professionally.  Write a script that everyone can easily follow.
  5. Make sure your staff returns patient phone calls promptly and cheerfully.  Don’t ever make a patient feel like a nuisance.
  6. Have written job descriptions, hold meaningful staff meetings, and create an employee handbook.
  7. Reward long-time employees with incentives.
  8. Recharge batteries with staff retreats.
  9. Review all staff policies and procedures regularly.
  10. Make sure you or your office manager belongs to a national professional organization, and encourage him or her to keep up to date and attend their meetings.  Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is just one of many that can be a great resource.

Remember — it only takes one negative employee to tarnish the image of your entire practice.  Conversely, “linchpin” employees can be one of your greatest (and most cost effective) marketing assets.