The one little document that helps you get more out of your team

The one little document that helps you get more out of your team

 

I remember the incident like it was yesterday.

 

The first receptionist I ever hired almost 10 year ago now was like a mother to me. I knew her from my first clinic, when I operated from one room in a medical centre after buying my clinic at age 21. She was the practice manager for the GP clinic.

 

Eventually she came to work for me.

 

So it was about 2011, in the days before my clinic was big or busy. We were in a small 60m2 area where we had the reception desk and waiting area, and my consultation room just behind, with a one way glass window, so I could see everything that was happening at the front.

 

Every day the receptionist would come to work with her lunch, and a couple of magazines. Back then there were times when we weren’t busy. When she didn’t have clients at the front or when the phones weren’t ringing (which they weren’t for most of the day) she would read her magazines.

 

Being not much of a leader at the time I wondered why she was doing this, but I thought I was lucky to have her, and I never said anything about it.

 

Looking back this is only 6 years ago, but I have learned so much since then.

 

Fast forward a couple of years. I had a great physio on my team – he was awesome with the patients, got good results, and would rebook them. He even did his GP letters. But god forbid I ask him to get out of the clinic and meet some GPs or referrers. This type of stuff must have scared him half to death as an introvert. Again I thought “I’m really lucky to have this guy” and I let it slide. He was doing a great job – who was I to ask more of him.

Fast forward to now. In our thriving clinic with a team of 15 everyone goes over and above. If you don’t, you don’t work here.

 

When I look back to those incidents, and others, I identify a couple of symptoms.

 

The symptoms in my clinic ( and potentially in yours right now) were:

 

Apart from answering phones and attending to clients, the reception team would do the bare minimum. They would not do any client recalls, marketing work on facebook, calling referrers, being proactive with record keeping, data input, accounting input, invoicing and all of the other things they needed to do.

 

Apart from treating clients and doing GP letters, the physios would just sit and twiddle their thumbs when they had a gap, or if someone cancelled their appointments. They would never get on the phone or get out of the clinic to meet potential new clients, refererrers, GPs or specialists, or do anything to help build their caseload and their reputation within the community.

 

A couple of years ago my business coach introduced me to the one document that has changed the game for me. I had heard of this document before in HR and corporate world, but never in the health profession.

 

This little document is called:

 

A POSITION DESCRIPTION.

 

Put simply, a position description details:

 

  1. The person’s job title
  2. Who they are answerable to
  3. Their core duties
  4. Measures of their effectiveness
  5. Personal qualities needed to do their jobs effectively
  6. How we measure these personal qualities

 

Now this may sound like an airy fairy type of document, and it does bring with it some problems.

 

The document needs to be realistic, and individually geared towards the person’s role, skillset, and natural aptitudes.

 

There is one key with this document to make it work, so that your team are going over and above:

 

It must be MUTUALLY agreed upon.

 

The easiest time to do this, is when a person commences employment with you.

 

The second easiest time to do this is right now.

 

One of my favourite quotes, when it comes to getting hard things done:

 

The best time to plan a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.

 

Of course a position description can evolve over time, and it should, based on progression of your team member’s skills, role and responsibilities. As long as they agree to these changes, you update their position description.

 

A position description is also a great way of keeping people accountable for non clinical tasks (physio) and non patient contact tasks (admin). They agree to the tasks, so if they stop doing them, your conversation looks like:

 

“So, about that task we agreed on you doing…?”

 

What is the next step for you?

 

Go and create yourself a position description. My advice is to start with creating a generic physio position description, based on the tasks your current physios do, and also adding the tasks you know they should be doing, but either aren’t as they have not been held accountable to do them (by you), or tasks they do sporadically that you want to add structure to.

 

Now if you believe this is going to take you too much time and you would rather spend your time doing other things I can help you out.

 

Here are 5 position descriptions I have packaged up as a product.

 

The 5 position descriptions are:

 

Clinic Owner (potentially the most important position description you can have! And interestingly the one no one tells you about)

Lead Physiotherapist

Physiotherapist

Practice Manager

Receptionist

 

If you want to save time then pop across and check out this position description pack here – I estimate it would take you 15-20 hours to create these documents, so if you have the time feel free to go ahead and if not I’m happy to help you out.

 

Find out what I consider to be the key activities and KPIs that each of your people should be doing, to create a high performing clinic environment.

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