If you're tired of hiring duds, it's time to find your ideal employee and duplicate that over and over. And there's ONE thing will make a HUGE difference.
When I joined Mike in our practice in 2012, I hated going into the clinic! The people who were supposed to be our team members were low tone (think Eeyore) 9-5er's who were happy collecting a paycheck for doing the bare minimum in effort. I found Mike constantly working from 6am - 11pm pushing things forward. Did the practice expand in 2012? Heck yeah! It doubled in size!
But one or two people cannot be the only ones pushing things forward because it's exhausting and over time, it just isn't fun anymore. After months of trying to help motivate the staff, training them, retraining them, encouraging them, playing games to make it more fun, I realized we were trying to 'put energy into the practice and the staff', and I had had ENOUGH!
So, from June - September 2013, I completely cleaned house in our clinic. No, I'm not talking about filing or cleaning up things we didn't need. I literally replaced 75% of our staff in 3 1/2 months (9 people in case you're wondering). It was so liberating to rid ourselves of people who just weren't on board! AND...I was able to replace those 9 "staff" with 7 team members who were "all- in" on the dream! We had a team of individuals who enjoyed being there and had the purpose of helping others. Once again the practice expanded!
But with a great team that's able and willing to produce and creates value for their patients, the practice will need to expand. You might be wondering why I said "but". Well, I'll be honest. I think I got lucky when I hired each of them because I didn't have a real set hiring process and just did what we always did. And so, as we expanded further beyond our core team, we were back where we were in June 2013, with some additions who were happy working that 9-5 job, collecting a paycheck, not really vested in our dream....and that started wearing on the core team members and bringing them down.
Does this sound like someone on your 'team'?
So, in late 2014, I found myself in a similar situation to late 2012 - mid 2013. And I had to come to terms with the fact that I needed a way to hire better and faster. But I also needed a way to find people who were a good fit with the rest of our core team and who had the same values and ideals as Mike and I do.
I created a specific hiring process to weed out the losers, but was still struggling with finding the "right" team member; someone I really enjoyed being around and who would with the rest of the group and "fit in".
One day, in early 2015, I was complaining to a good friend how I was struggling to find PTs to fit with our team. I was having people apply but when I interviewed them or when they came in for the in-office interview, they just didn't gel with us. And as we were chatting, she asked me who my ideal fit was. Like who they REALLY were. I gave her a list of credentials, the amount of experience we were looking for and a bunch of other "stuff". And she stopped me right then and there and said, "NO! I want to know what they look like, what their personal qualities are, what they say when you ask them if they can help out today, what are their personal values, what do they do when a patient shows up late....this went on and on....
She told me to hang up and sit down, put on my big kid pants, and write out a list of ALL the things that would make someone ideal for our practice. "And do not stop until you have a list of EVERY single thing that comes to mind. And then to hang it up where you see it every single day. Continue to add to it whenever you think of something else that would make them a great fit for you and your ideal team."
I did what she said and right away things completely changed for us. My hiring program was complete and it was like putting the last piece in the puzzle and finally figuring out what it was. No more wasted time hiring the wrong fit.
We now had the complete package and I was finding team members who were in sync with our core values.
After that, hiring got a lot easier for me. I knew what and who I was looking for and I built a team around our values and ideals. Recently I was working with a friend and client who's also a practice owner. She has been using my hiring program for over a year but the one thing she hadn't really completed was this part. She has started it and used it last year, but things change and when that happens, you need to update your list, make additions and constantly redefine what you need. So, I had write up a whole new list that laid out her ideal employee and all of their attributes. A photo of her board is below so you can check it out.
Now, here's what you need to do next:
Pull out a piece of paper OR go to your white board (you want this to stay up where you can see it so this isn't meant to be erased).
Write down ALL the qualities and personal attributes of your IDEAL team member.
If you wrote it on paper, post it, if it's on the white board, don't erase it.
Keep adding to this list as you think of new things that meet your values and ideals.
And as you're hiring, use this to qualify your potential team members.
Ask yourself throughout the hiring process, do they fit? Do they still continue to fit?
And as you bring them on, don't be afraid to qualify them against this list as you train them up.
What about my friend who did this a few weeks ago?
Here's her board. She has it where she can see it every day and she continues to add to it. She had a qualified applicant immediately after making her list. And, after working through the hiring process with her, she was certain she was the perfect fit and hired her right away!
Now, two weeks after doing this one thing, she has an amazing new hire who's already training and loving being a part of their team!
NOTE: If you really want to take things in your practice to a new level...sit down and qualify your current staff. Do they fit your current ideal? If not, that could be holding you back. (I do this with my
So don't wait, get this done. You'll be happy that you did it and you'll have a path to
follow as you hire new staff.
Wishing you the best, today and always, Dee
I started Front Office GURU with a single goal in mind and that’s to help private practices thrive. Your front office plays an integral role in your success and yet, most practices don’t have set training and systems to ensure that everyone in the front office manages patients the same way.
Don’t wait until the perfect time to get started because there will never be that perfect time, that perfect staff.
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