One area of business management which is often overlooked is staff development. Most chiropractors dislike the management side of running a chiropractic business because their hearts are dedicated to serving their patients.
Many doctors continue to improve their clinical skills and techniques long after graduation because they are passionate about healing by nature. However, they aren’t as motivated to improve their business skills, and as a result their business potential is left undeveloped and their practice suffers. Staff development should be a priority for every practicing chiropractor. There will never be a practice that outgrows the development of the people who work within it. Many chiropractors are ignoring the most valuable commodity they have, their staff.
Developing yourself and others is one of the most rewarding privileges that business ownership provides. Staff should feel they are developing daily or they will become disengaged and bored or, even worse, treat their positions like a job rather than a career. Does this sound like your practice environment?
Here are five warning signs of staff under-development:
1. High staff turnover
2. Your greatest source of internal referrals is not your staff
3. Your patients would score higher than your staff on chiropractic knowledge
4. Your services / collection ratios average less than 90% per month
5. You would rather have a root canal than an office staff meeting
Simply put, you are not leading anyone if you are not developing someone. If you are only known as the “check signer” you are the boss, not the leader. Once a doctor takes an active role in leading and mentoring his staff, the production and revenue in that office increases. Fact: you will never reach stress-free production levels without good staff, and that only comes from intentional staff development.
People are starving for leadership and nobody wants a dead end job. However, in work environments suffering from a lack of leadership, that is exactly what you get. But, if you make an effort to become a leader within your practice and require accountability from your staff, you will be surprised with the results! We regularly hear from doctors who have taken an active role in leadership and staff development, that the production in their offices has increased dramatically.
We know that there are many doctors currently struggling to pay their bills and keep their practice afloat. With those priorities on their minds, leadership skills may be overlooked. Nevertheless, developing your staff and leadership skills may be the very thing that provides the growth your practice so desperately needs.
Doctors, you owe it to your staff and your practice to take charge. In fact, your practice will never reach its full potential without staff development.
Find someone who can mentor you and teach you some leadership skills for practice management. Once you gain some confidence, you will find that there is a motivational, worthwhile leader within you who is ready to lead the other members on your team.
Give me a great doctor and a poorly developed staff and you will get mediocre results. Give me a mediocre doctor with a highly developed staff and the practice will flourish!
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t determine the outcome of your production, it’s your staff. An investment in your staff is an investment in your practice. Help them develop personally and professionally. With your help they can thrive, and when they thrive, so will your practice!
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