I want to talk to you about how to attract and lead your dream team. It’s one of those topics that people are really excited about or they just dread—attracting and hiring good talent into your practice. It’s a really important thing because, as you know, you have to surround yourself with great people in order to be ultimately successful. The people in your office are those that are representing you as a clinician or Physician. They’re the ones who are the first line for people who are entering your practice, calling your practice, inquiring about your practice and those that are nurturing your patients along the way and keeping them happy and satisfied. Also, they are effectively managing any concerns that your patients might have. I know you know this, but it’s so important. A lot of times it’s a struggle to attract the kind of talent you want in your practice. You might think it’s so hard to find good people. Quite frankly, it is! A lot of times you’ll have people come in and they’re more concerned about their phone, their interactions with their friends, unreliable, they show up to work late, and all those sorts of things.
How can you attract people that are going to be your best ambassadors for your practice? I find, quite frankly, one of the best ways to attract those employees is through word of mouth. It’s not an easy thing to do. But a lot of times your stellar employees know other people who would be a great addition to your team. I tend to typically start there. I’ll even post it on FB sometimes. Be very specific about what it is you’re looking for. Really emphasize someone who has great interpersonal skills, someone who enjoys working with patients, caring and concerned. Put out there all the things that you really want in terms of that employee. It’s important to be very specific so you attract that person.
A lot of times you can do it by word of mouth. You can try some talent agencies or agencies in the area. I personally have had very little luck with that. I’ve not been successful in attracting somebody there. And, it tends to be very costly, especially for a small or independent practice. So you can try that as well, especially if you’re in dire need. They can usually provide someone temporarily. There have been situations where some of them have worked into long-term employees. That’s another avenue you can follow.
You can post your listing with your local newspaper on-line. On-line tends to be the best place for people looking for jobs nowadays. You can use services like zip recruiter. There are a lot of different ones you can use. I would try word of mouth and asking your employees first. They want to work with people that are going to be joy to work with as well. That’s why you often find your best employees through your own employees.
Once you get that person who hopefully has a great resume (sometimes they’re not such great resumes) look at their experience. Depending on the position you’re hiring for, they might need specific clinical experience. For front desk, a lot of times, the interpersonal skills are way more important. You can teach them most everything else. That personality is going to be key at the front desk and for your front-line employees.
So, make sure you’re very specific about your job description. We have job contracts for a lot of the practices I’ve managed. Those are contracts about where people understand what the expectations are. It’s a contract they’re agreeing to in order to fulfill those. It goes way back to Michael Gerber days if you’re familiar with him. He talks a lot about the contracts. I found it to be very effective.
I also think it’s very important to take your staff and have them be a part of the interview process. They’re the ones who are going to be working side-by-side with these people. You want to make sure they have some sort of an input. It also helps for them to feel valued. Sometimes you can even just try them out and come observe for a day. You need to make sure you follow all the human resource guidelines. That’s a good way to get a feel for that as well. Having them come shadow for a day or two is a great way to weed out those that wouldn’t be ideal for our practice.
You need to know that everybody is replaceable. That’s why you have that 90-day probationary period. If it’s not working out, you’ll be much better off in the long run if you take care of it right then and do yourself a favor and the other person a favor. Always make sure you’re following your labor laws. Those are some keys on how to find a good employee. I want to share with you some things about how you can lead those employees most effectively.
If you haven’t read my book, 5 Profit Engines of a Successful Bariatric Surgery Practice, there are a lot of principles in there about leading employees and leading your team. You want to be able to motivate them and get them to want to perform at their best. Once you build that dream team and you know what that feels like, you never want anything other than that. I’m going to give you a few tips on how to lead your team as well. There are a lot of tips in my book that can help, whether you’re a bariatric surgeon or not-from marketing to management.
You want to make sure your meet with your staff and find out what their long-term goals are. You should help them grow and support them in their education. You might have someone who comes in as a medical assistant but they really want to be an LPN or RN someday. Helping them through that is very beneficial. It helps them want to produce more because you’re taking personal interest in them as well. You might fear losing them, but having them for that period of time is often better than having someone who’s not as effective. You want to make sure you do complete your Employee Performance Appraisals. I’ve been remiss in this at times. But it’s a great time for you to share what’s going well, whether they need improvement, and also see what it is they’re happy about and what is frustrating them. It helps avoid some of those problems right from the beginning. You always want to make sure you are fair. Playing favorites will get you into trouble and undermine respect people have for you. You want to follow through on what you say you will do. People need to know they can trust you. So make sure you follow through if you say you’re going to do something. Find ways to recognize and reward your staff. A verbal Thank You or a note means more than you know. Often time’s employees will save those notes and post them somewhere. It’s really important to them. Remembering their birthdays is a nice touch.
Team building in a creative way (spooking at Halloween) increases their engagement. Create those job contracts I talked about for each employee. It’s a job written description written as well as a contract. Your team is critical. These are just some basic tips in terms of what you can follow in terms of hiring that dream team, and how to keep that dream team around for a long period of time. Hiring them is important. And also leading them and rewarding them with a thank you or a monetary bonus at the end of the year. Make sure they know they’re valued and they have a say in what goes on.
I hope you find this helpful. If you ‘d like to share any other ideas or you want to come on my podcast and share some of the things you do in your office that’s interesting and helpful to build your dream team please reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will totally look forward to that. In the meantime, keep building that dream team and take great care of those patients. Thank you so much. See you next time.