As a private practice owner, you know that employee turnover can be expensive. It not only costs money, but valuable client relationships and internal knowledge often go with them. In the race for talent to fill open positions, what can you do to reduce turnover in your practice in the first place? Here are some strategies for turning your employees into an engaged team who stay with you for the long haul:
According to the research done in the article “Implementing Optimal Team-Based Care to Reduce Clinician Burnout,” there are five great principles of a high-performing team you can use to evaluate your team:
Establish clear goals for the practice and the team that everyone can understand and work together to achieve. This sense of team purpose will help keep your team engaged in the work they are doing together, not just their personal goals (which are important too). When you establish these goals make sure they are tough but achievable in a reasonable amount of time and constantly remind the team about what they are trying to achieve and why it is important. When the team accomplishes these goals make sure you celebrate these wins appropriately.
This can be hard to do when you have a small practice and a small team but even if everyone has to wear a few hats, make sure those hats are clearly defined by you and are known by everyone on the team. Not only will this help avoid people overlapping one another it will create a sense of ownership and responsibility amongst your team members and they can become more specialized in their duties. That being said, make sure you are aware to some degree of the knowledge each team member has, and make sure they document and cross-train their responsibilities in case they are out of the office.
Create an Environment of Trust:
Make sure you are creating a team that feels safe sharing when they make mistakes or don’t know how to do something. When a team can share these issues you are less likely to run into mistakes being covered up or left unaddressed and your leaders on the team will have the opportunity to share their knowledge with the rest of the group. When people don’t feel scared to be honest at work they will become stressed and more likely to leave the organization.
Communication is everything within any team. If a group can not effectively communicate everything will become a challenge. Being able to communicate will also ensure the above three principles are achievable because the team will be able to identify issues and pull together to solve them. You as their leader will be able to understand the issues at hand and will also be able to easily share your expectations efficiently. Evaluate your team and find out if they think everyone is able to effectively communicate with one another.
Measure, Measure, Measure:
The old saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” is a true statement. Make sure you can establish objective measures for processes and performance within your team. This will allow you to make sure everyone is doing their best work by holding team members accountable and celebrating wins. You can measure how much time a process takes and put a goal on the team to reduce it. You can measure outcome or survey scores a clinician gets from their patients. You can set a target for the entire team to try to achieve before the end of the year. All of these will help you see if you are making improvements and help you motivate your team to strive for perfection.
These simple principles are great ways to manage and motivate your team and when a team is engaged it will become clear who is not on onboard with your goals and keep those that are engaged. Your team wants a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Implement some of these strategies to help them feel important in their work at your practice.