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  • Writer's pictureDee Bills, Founder

The TOP 3 Causes of Turnover (and What to do About it)

Hey there and welcome to Front Office GURU! As a PT, practice owner and front office coach, I’ve been working to change the private practice industry with specialized training for your front desk. Let me know what you think…

Have you been struggling with turnover at your front desk?

If so, you’re not alone. This has become common in private practices over the past few years.

But what causes a high rate of turnover at the front desk and what can you do to prevent it?

As a private practice coach and practice owner, I learned early on what causes front desk turnover. In today’s tutorial I’m going to share the cause and what you can do to prevent it.

Let’s begin with the top 3 causes of front desk turnover:

person leaving their desk and their job.

1. You didn’t hire the best fit to begin with.

Someone who isn’t a good fit will often lead you along, make promises without showing you proof, and they won’t sound certain about the position. They’ll also often ask about benefits without asking the more important questions about the position itself.

When you look at their resume, they’ve hopped around from job to job over the past few years. And they might still be ‘looking’ for that one job they’ll really like. Do YOU want to bethe next “possibility” or do you want someone who really wants to do the job you’re asking them to do?

Ask yourself this-are you testing your applicants to see how they do

  • answering the phones

  • getting potential new patients scheduled

  • collecting what’s due

  • as well as preventing cancellations and no-shows

This will show you where their weaknesses are, and how well they compensate. And how they react to difficult situations that they weren’t fully prepared for.

If you aren’t testing them, you’re missing key data you should use to make the best decision.

2. You were rushed to fill that position.

Look, I get it. This position can be hard to fill and keep full. And if someone leaves without notice (which happens a lot), you have an increased sense of urgency to get someone to answer the phones and handle those other front desk tasks.

But this goes along with #1. And it can also wreak havoc for you, your team, and your patients.

When you’re rushed to fill that position, you will overlook the red flags, big or small. These are important because if you don’t invest the time needed to weed out those who aren’t the best fit, you open yourself up to more work and more frustration.

(And yes, I learned the hard way years ago…so I want you to avoid having this problem.)

Often when someone is hired in a hurry, and red flags are overlooked, the new hire will do one of these things:

  • they’ll accept your offer and not show up on their first day

  • or they’ll waste a few weeks of your time and then leave

  • even worse, you could invest the time and energy to get them fully trained, and then they leave you because they got their ‘ideal’ position somewhere else (and often they don’t even bother to give you a respectable amount of notice…)

Then you’re back to square one, and you feel the pressure again to get that position filled. It can feel like a never-ending cycle.

Has that ever happened to you? How did that make you and the team feel? What problems did this create for your practice?

3. You didn’t train them to be MASTERS of that position.

I can’t say this enough. If you want someone to be a master in that front desk position, they need consistent, proven training that shows them how to take control of the conversation and manage your patients and their plan of care.

You went to school to master your specialty, or you had to learn the hard way how to master your patients and get them to arrive. Your front office staff didn’t get that benefit.

Here’s the thing, the front desk position IS a specialty position that needs consistent, proven training to build a highly skilled team member who can coordinate care so your providers and do their job and provide the care.

On-the-job training creates hit or miss results because it’s happening around all the other things going on at the front desk. There are so many distractions with patients coming and going.

And that causes key pieces of training to be missed or glanced over; which leaves them on their own to figure it out. And that results in mistakes and feelings of loss or failure for your front office team members when they aren’t able to help a patient.

All this occurs because they didn’t have the right training and skills to handle the problem.

So, if you want to have less turnover at your front desk, you need the following:

1. A recruiting and hiring program that weeds out those who aren’t a good fit BEFORE you hire them.

That means that this is a process. One that should include aptitude testing, simple skills training and testing as well as having them observe what goes on at the front desk.

You should also have a team that contributes to your interview process. Don’t do it alone. Have other, trusted team members help you out. Because they’ll see things an applicant would NEVER show an owner or manager.

2. Don’t put yourself in the position where you’re rushed to fill a position.

Don’t let it get to the point where you’re desperate to finally post ads and interview/test people. Here’s a tip. You should be constantly working on hiring for this position. Weed out those who aren’t a good fit and collect a list of potential team members who are willing AND able to handle that position so you’re ready if someone decides to leave

3. Get them trained as masters of their position.

This is where our practice became a success.

As I said earlier, they didn’t go to school to master that position. In fact, many fell into that position and got on-the-job training. They’re applying to work for your practice, and you need them to master patient management for YOUR patients.

Your system of training should get results. They need to learn how to:

  • Convert leads to scheduled new patients

  • Get those new patients to arrive for their evaluation appointments

  • Make sure that all patient information is correct and handled appropriately

  • Schedule out a full plan of care at that first visit

  • Easily discuss the cost of care AND collect what’s due at the time of visit

  • Keep your schedule FULL

  • And most importantly, PREVENT cancels and no-shows by getting patients to arrive or provide your required notice

Next, you need to take the time to train them in all patient-related actions and make sure you observe them to ensure they can and are using them.

And provide proven scripting so they know what to say, as well as how and when to say it. And they should be masters at it.

If you don’t get consistent, proven training, they’ll do one of two things. They’ll revert back to habits learned in a previous position or they’ll create their own way of handling things. And neither will get you the results you need.

4. Finally look, listen, and provide feedback. And retrain them if necessary.

When it comes to training your front desk in how to master patient management, do you really have the time to invest?

Or are you barely finding time to teach them how to use your EMR, where to store files, and how to use the phones?

You don’t have to do this alone.

And you don’t need to create your own system of training.

I’ve done it for you and my virtual academy provides all the training you need to create masters at your front desk.

My training was created for PT,OT,and multidisciplinary private practices but it works for other medical specialties because the focus is on HOW to manage patients to get them scheduled and arriving for care.

You cannot go wrong with this training.

Your purchase includes everything you need to train and retrain staff for as long as you want. And we don’t punish you for turnover. If someone leaves, you remove their access, and add your new team member. In fact, you can even use this training as part of your hiring process and challenges.

Front Office Training

With The Front Office GURU Training Academy®, you can have the tools you need to provide consistent training to your front desk.

When you provide consistent training, your team is more successful and success in their position helps to decrease turnover.

Here are just a few of the essential topics we cover in this program:

  • How to have the right mindset when speaking with patients.

  • How to get more new patients to schedule and arrive for their evaluation appt

  • How to talk about the cost of care and handle patient worries about costs

  • How to PREVENT cancels and no-shows (and also how to handle someone to keep it from happening again)

  • How to fill your schedule and keep it full

Watch this video to learn more:


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