Why Build a Staff-Driven Practice?
What would happen if you were to allow your staff to drive your practice? What are the benefits of a staff-driven chiropractic practice and how can a broader approach to office management help grow your business?
Allowing your staff to take active and integrated roles in your chiropractic office leads to a stronger, more productive and more loyal workforce. Employees who have a sense of ownership or feel they’re able to contribute to their workplace help create a more cohesive and focused organization.
Relying on employees who thoroughly understand the mission of your practice and who can use their skills and talents purposefully puts your practice on virtual cruise control – in the fast lane.
The chiropractor of a staff-driven practice serving as a sort of ship’s captain provides general direction and utilizes the skills of talented staff members to do day-to-day work.
The “captain” points the way forward through clear company policies and thorough training and relies on the staff to take the ship to sea. Informed and motivated employees produce effective results with little supervision. The chiropractor as company executive doesn’t need to micromanage well-trained and knowledgeable employees but merely sets the course.
The higher morale and sense of ownership in a staff-driven office produces a greater desire for more company opportunities and employees naturally seek ways to grow the business.
A staff-driven practice also generates some pleasant side effects. The biggest one: More fun. At least a little more fun. Remember, grouchy bosses can be a big drag. Think Capt. Bligh. Sprinkle the workplace with some light banter, some friendly kidding around and regular times of employee recognition, and what do you get? Happy workers who are willing to go the extra mile. That translates into more production, assuming more responsibility and more teamwork.
Teamwork. That’s the big deal. It has to do with synergy: “the interaction of elements (staff members) that when combined produced a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements and contributions.”
When you have a staff-driven practice, everyone works together as a team. On the other side, offices where the chiropractor flies solo are hamstrung, leaving no room for expansion or even breathing room, but plenty of room for stress and frustration.
A properly built staff-driven practice creates a lasting benefit of tangible assets that can pay big dividends later, say for retirement income, transferring to another occupation or selling the business for a significant price.
Most chiropractors – even those who own large offices – cannot sell their practices for much more than a few hundred thousand dollars. When chiropractic offices are composed of one-size-does-everything owners, the practice doesn’t generate much demand on the market when the top dog is leaving.
How to Build a Staff-Driven Practice
The first step toward creating a more staff-drive atmosphere is a role change. Chiropractors must transition from the sometimes personality-based solo flier of the practice to becoming chief executive. As executive, the chiropractor-owner must paint the picture of how the office will work, incorporating its individual parts and organizing the varying processes into smooth and efficient systems. Each function must then be organized, set in place in the form of a job description, and assigned to qualified staff members who are clearly given a full understanding of their duties.
The executive also must establish a monitoring system that statistically measures performance and production and regularly conveys the information for regular review. This gives the chiropractor the ability to track work progression without micromanagement.
Serving as the practice’s chief executive also allows the chiropractor to monitor trends and keep ahead of office logistics and organizational needs.
The Keys to Effective Staff Development
Here are some tips for hiring, training and retaining an excellent staff:
As executive, the chiropractor has more time and resources to tap into potential labor pools to find the best and most qualified staff members. Great employees aren’t necessarily found during interviews but created under sound and thoughtful management.
Training top staff members to assume executive positions is vital for the long-term success of your practice. Having an unqualified or unprepared staff member step into a suddenly vacated executive position can spell disaster. In addition, all the staff should undergo regular and thorough job training and learn general office procedures.
Staff members, especially those in top posts, should be given pay incentives that match those of the owner as the company grows. Value for value is good advice for both a good chiropractor and a good employee. More money also helps to motivate employees and gives them a greater sense of pride.
You don’t necessarily get into chiropractic to make big money. It’s a life of purpose; it’s a calling. You want to help people. That’s the chiropractic philosophy. So, when your staff displays exemplary performance, reward them. Give them production bonuses. Show them you value their hard word.
As with any gang, yours needs a leader. If your staff-driven team members are excited and ready to roll up their sleeves, they need to have a strong leader. And it’s your responsibility to become that. If you’re not willing to step into those shoes, get out of the way and assign a leader, then let your leader lead.
We hope you appreciate and benefit from this advice from our outstanding trainers at the Chiropractors Business Academy. We train chiropractors to build staff-driven practices by equipping owners and staff with the education and resources for success.