August 2, 2010
This day and age we tend to think of everything coming with a guarantee or at least an assumption that it is going to work out for us. For instance, if you were to purchase a big screen TV you would expect to have great picture and sound quality. In fact, the manual that comes with your new TV states just that.
However, before you purchased that TV you knew what the concept was of what you wanted. When you began your search for this new TV you looked for what you wanted. You knew whether you wanted LCD or plasma. You knew the size of TV you wanted, etc.
As a medical practice manager, you can use the same concepts of buying something you really want to employing someone you want to work in your medical practice. What? How is that? Well, there are some basic guidelines:
1. Individual Clarity.
You must know what type of individual would best suit the position. If you are hiring for a front desk position and you know that person needs to be personable and friendly then you are clear that is an attribute you need for that position. Most hiring within a medical practice takes place because you have a vacancy to fill and someone applies that can fill that vacancy. It will save you much time and anguish to be clear on the type of individual that is needed for a particular position and staying clear to that objective. If you think about it, you know what type of personality will fit that position and most certainly the ones that will not by now.
Just like with the TV anaology, you would not want to shove a 60-inch big screen in an area that clearly can only support 48 inches. Be logical with what will work and only look for what you need.
2. Clear Expectations.
Now that you are aware of what individual type you need for the position, you can set clear expectations of what their duties will be. You must know what they are expected to do for your practice as well as be able to explain it to them. An expectation of hiring someone for a position to just do what is needed is not clear enough. Lay out a precise duty list that is clear and acceptable for you and them. This is the time to have clear job descriptions for the positions in your practice.
Have them read through the list you have created to see if there is any resistance or questions that come up for them about anything. If they agree that they can perform these tasks on the list, have them sign the agreement to acknowledge they have read the list and agree to perform what you have asked.
The similarity of the TV analogy is that when you purchased the TV you would have a clear expectation of what it could do for you. In other words, you would test that TV out at the store or online to make sure it had the qualities you wanted in a TV before you agreed to buy.
3. Guaranteed Plan.
You must be clear with yourself and the employee about what happens if it does not work. So if the employee is clear on their expectations and then does not deliver according to those expectations then you must have a secondary plan. That plan could include moving them to another more suited position or simply to let them go. However, the crucial part of having a plan is both you and the employee knowing that plan up front.
You would never buy that TV without a “what if it doesn’t work” plan. There is always a guarantee with a purchase. There may not be a guarantee with an employee or an employer for that matter, but there should be a guaranteed plan that you both know will happen if it does not work out. Be prepared to act on your guaranteed plan even if it requires you to go back to the drawing board again.
If you use a well laid out plan you will begin to choose and employ more people that fit your medical practice needs and the practice as a whole. Creating a team culture in your office means knowing what you want in a team and acting upon the vision you have created for your practice.
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