Note: Doctors could hire a practice management consultant to coach them on all aspects of organizing the office. However, when it comes to staff meetings, many people still do not have a clue how to do it correctly. Below are some of the common questions that I get asked and the answers to them. But remember, there is no such thing as absolute perfection. Always maintain a strong focus in the area of new patients marketing. While you are engaged in medical or dental practice management, you cannot neglect medical or dental practice marketing.
1. What is the purpose of a staff meeting?
The purpose is to build the future of your practice by also building the future of your staff members. In fact, your practice’s future is directly proportional to how you can enhance the future of every single staff member of yours. Staff meetings are there to let the staff know what is happening in the company, which new things are going on, what marketing strategy is currently applied, etc. Staff meetings are here to align the staff so that they pull in the same direction, and/or know what the other staff members are doing.
2. What would be the correct way to write a goal?
What “you want” is the wrong goal. What you can provide for others is what you need to write down, for example, the people cured or kept healthy and the smiles saved. If you do not concentrate on what you want to provide to other as the purpose of your activities, then your own wishes will always stay wishes. After all, if you need a million dollars for a nice house, then you will need to provide some service or product to someone so that they will pay you. And you will need to provide that in large enough quantity to get the million dollars.
3. Why is it important to have a good statistics program?
With a good statistics program, which monitors the actual performance of each individual employee, you will be able to sort the winners from the losers much, much better. Read the book by Jack Welsh called “Winning”, where he writes about how he handles the top 20% of producers, the bottom 20% of producers and the ones in the middle. And trust me, it was successful in his personal and business life having run General Electric with 300,000 employees for 20 years.
4. What do you base your decisions on?
The statistics, good or bad, are the only thing, which you want to base your decisions on.
5. What must a manager do?
Managers might be the managers, because they can do all the jobs and can do it well. But they MUST stop doing it and MUST start running the place. If this sounds like it will cost you money, because you are too small to have a manager who does “nothing but manage”, then I might remind you that the large companies do not do the things they do (such as having managers, training people at great expenses, having lots of meetings, spending lots on marketing and public relations) because they are large. They are large because of the things they do while they are small.
6. Why are staff meetings more rah-rah meeting than anything else?
The staff needs to be made to look into the future of the company and to get their security from a safe future. Showing how the current company’s programs are securing such a great future portrays this future.
7. Why do we have to repeat staff meetings every week if we do not have a new program and it will be the same old thing?
First of all, it never should be the same old thing. You always should find one or two small things which are new and on which you might want to train the staff on.
Also, you should know that the repeated enthusiasm is the ONLY thing which keeps the flame going. As Mr. Jack Welch said, “I sometimes get sick of saying the same thing, but I have to and will make sure that I always sound new and excited. If I, the boss, cannot be excited how can anyone else be?”
8. What if I announce a goal and it flops, as many of my past projects have, and then I’ll have egg on my face?!
Well, the chances of all your projects flopping are very huge if you do not sell the idea with great enthusiasm to all your staff. That’s right, I said, “all your staff”, not only the few who will work with the project. Some, maybe even more than half, of your projects will fail anyhow. But without enthusiastic staff meetings, way more will fail. And more devastatingly, you will stop engaging in new projects for fear of failing, and thus become a complacent, indifferent, apathetic individual, and soon the whole company will be the same way. The wolf pack runs only as fast as the leader wolf.
9. Is there another kind of meeting rather than what we call a staff meeting?
Yes, there should be a production meeting with the department head every day or at least twice a week. In small companies everyone could easily be included in this production meeting, and of course the department heads should have a separate production meeting with the workers in their department anyhow. Production meetings are there to very specifically ask what was done, what was the target and what can we do to reach the target in the next day, or whatever time frame is covered. Targets and quotas should be (must be) short range and very specific. Who does what and when, must be as exact as the steps of a heart surgery or of flying an F15 fighter plane. The long-term targets might be talked about, but only so that we know we are aligning the short-term quotas and targets to our long-term targets and goals.
Which meeting is more important? The Staff meeting, which spreads enthusiasm for our projects and does a bit of training towards them or the Production meeting, which give the managers and thus the crew a very specific step by step outlay of what to do when? That is like asking “what part of a car is more important, the engine or the steering wheel?” Or “What body part should we let get sick, the liver or the heart?”
If, and only if, you want to succeed and have a practice which not only makes you all the money you want, but also lets you live to tell about it, then you need both. Otherwise, if making money and having free time to do the things you cherish, because your business runs quite well with your employees – rather than you – doing the job, is not important to you, then you can choose to drop either one of the meetings, or both.
10. How can I make my dreams come true?
By continuously imagining the very thing you want. Anything you cannot picture very clearly will not come to you. This is why saying ‘I want to be successful’, simply does not work. It is also not enough that you alone have this nice picture of what you want, but that all the people who will somehow help you in this task will know this picture as well and see it as colorfully as you do.
Otherwise, they cannot help whether you pay them enormous sums of money or minimum wage, or whether they are friends and want to help just for the sake of helping. This is why you hold staff meetings with more enthusiasm than you ever had before. Force yourself to be enthusiastic. It is contagious and will even catch on to you and thus you will not have to force yourself any more.
11. What is it you have to picture the most?
The things you want, of course. But here is a bit of help that will make all the difference in the world.
Do not simply dream, and imagine, and paint a perfect picture (all the same thing) of the thing you want as a reward – a house, a new car, a pretty wife, a lot of money, long vacations etc. Of course, you should picture those things as well, nothing wrong with it. But in order to get that house, car, even the pretty girl, you have to do things.
We call that ‘taking action’. It means to provide a service or a product for which someone else will give you something back (usually money, but not always, as in the example about the pretty girl). With this money, you will buy things. But the important thing is that you picture and get your staff to picture the actions you have to perform to get the target, such as more sales, more cars made, etc.
Remember: Medical or dental practice management must include properly done staff meetings. However, despite of so many medical and dental practice management advice, I have found that there is simply not enough emphasis on the importance of new patients marketing. You must learn how to market for new patients without costly advertising. Go to my other articles for more tips on this.
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Category: Healthcare Marketing.