Your medical staff sees your patients before you do. From checking in with front-office staff to getting vitals taken by your assistants, these are the people who represent you and give your patients an impression of your practice.
Because of this, it is extremely important your medical staff is happy. When they are happy, they show it. Their happiness lets your patients know they are in the right place for help. It makes your patients feel like they will receive good treatment because if the staff is being treated well, so will the patients.
The keys to keeping medical staff happy is not hard to understand and easy to implement. Below are some of these keys that you can start implementing today.
Make Them Feel Appreciated
Staff members want to feel appreciated. Sure, you are paying them to work. But in their minds, they are leaving their families, putting off personal responsibilities, and putting your practice before other duties, so that you can be successful.
Letting them know you appreciate them does not mean buying them things or giving them promotions. It simply means saying, “thank you” and “I appreciate your help”. Simple words can change an entire attitude.
Give Them Updated Equipment
Staff gets frustrated when their computers are slow or crash when trying to help a patient. It is embarrassing. Copiers that always breakdown, outdated software, and even old telephone services can lead to staff feeling unhappy because they add more time and effort that could be spent on providing patient services.
Spend the time and money to provide your staff with the best technology. For instance, if dispensing in-office, the modern software programs provided make your staff’s job easy. It can take inventory, respond to messages, and send claims efficiently to insurance companies and even print education and labels with just the click of a button.
This will make all your staff very happy.
Many staff spend more time at your office than at their own homes. When do they get to relax and have fun? You can provide some fun for your staff. Bring in a massage therapist to provide ten minute neck massages to your staff.
Have an extended lunch and play games. Start in-house competitions that may seem silly but offer a few laughs. Participate in team volunteering opportunities. Have staff help makeover your office space. Have office meetings outdoors or at a park.
If your office is serious all the time, your staff will not be able to express happiness. The overall mood of your practice is set by you. Make it a place people want to be.
Streamline Staff Duties
Some staff members are not really sure what their specific job duties are. They do a little bit of everything. This can be stressful for some staff members, making them feel overwhelmed and unhappy.
To avoid this, provide each staff with their specific job duties and have them stick to their duties. You can also work with agencies that can help you streamline services, like those that come with in-office dispensing.
From the time a patient checks in to providing a prescription to collecting fees and sending claims, the services they provide are created to make it easy for your staff. And the easier the job, the happier the staff, the happier the patient.
Each staff member has a different life outside of your office. The benefits they want may not be the same for all staff members. Some may want tuition reimbursement while others want a trip to Disney.
Some staff already has health insurance through a spouse. They don’t need that benefit through your practice. Give them something they do need.
Instead of going with the standard, across the board, benefits, make yours unique. Make them fit the needs and wants of your staff.
Offer unusual benefits, like help paying for a car, help paying off student loan debt, attending conferences, furthering education, help paying their child’s tuition, opening a savings account, or even spa packages.
Ask your staff what they want their benefits to include. Ask them what would make them happier and healthier.
Invest in Your Staff
Staff wants to feel if you want them to be around for a long time, that they are valuable to the success of the practice. And they are. You should notice just how valuable they are and find ways to show you understand their worth.
Creating a long-term career path with your staff can help. Find out if they want to advance in the practice and then work with them to get there. For instance, if your medical assistant wants to become a nurse someday, help them develop a plan to do that.
Give them reasons to continue working for you once they achieve the goal of being a nurse. Offer incentives for staying with you, or help with their tuition in exchange for service time.
You want your staff to be engaged and invested in making your practice profitable. To do this, you must return the investment so they feel how important they are.
Spend Time with Your Staff
Spending time with your staff does not mean hanging out with them after hours or participating in extra-curricular activities when the office is closed. It simply means get to know them on a personal level. Listen to them, hear them and provide open lines of communication.
The more you spend time and get to know your staff, the more you will learn what makes them happy. You will learn what gifts to get them at Christmas and birthdays, gifts that are personal and not generic. You will be able to personalize their work experience.
You may find that some staff need more flexible hours, or that some staff are dealing with hardships. Knowing these things gives you opportunities to show you care and that their happiness is important to you.
In the end, it is you who can make a difference in your staff’s happiness. These are a few simple tips you can start doing today.