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How to build a self-managed team

Successful practice management is key to allowing you to focus on treating patients and relieving work-related stress. One of the keys to practice management is setting up your team to essentially manage themselves.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve this.

Instill a culture of accountability

Trying to be everyone’s friend instead of being the boss is a habit that will soon lead to a loss of control. Employees must be given clear guidelines in terms of expectations and held accountable when their performance falls short.

Disciplining staff can be uncomfortable but the long-term pain of not doing it can be worse. It’s good practice to create a fixed disciplinary process and stick to it. Educate your team on how the process works so that there are no surprises. Consistency is vital. As employees learn that poor performance leads to consequences, behavior will improve.

Evaluate staff regularly

Identifying weak links and letting those go that bring the team down is part of running a successful business. If your discipline protocol is clear and always adhered to, the process of removing underperformers becomes easier.

Hire better employees

While hiring superstars will always involve a little bit of luck, you can likely tweak your interviewing process to improve your chances:

  • Identify your office culture so that you can seek out personality traits that match.
  • Write job descriptions that include details about the office culture.
  • Conduct thorough interviews and include behavioral questions to see how candidates have dealt with the challenges most common in your practice in the past.
  • Implement a 90-day trial period post-hire and be honest about your evaluation. If you’ve hired poorly, cut your losses and start over.

Elicit solutions from employees

Understanding what team members love and hate about working for you can provide a lot of insight. Whether you take the time for a quick one-on-one meeting with every staff member or work out a way for employees to make suggestions anonymously, figuring out what’s not working with your office systems or culture is a valuable way to improve morale.

Use positive feedback

Recognizing employees for a job well done is the best way to ensure a repeat performance down the road. Positive feedback and creating a positive work environment are also effective strategies for keeping your top team members.

Practice corrective coaching

Most workers want to be good at their job. While there’s a fine line between lecturing and teaching, recognize that part of your job is to help staff improve. Some of this responsibility falls of the shoulders of your office manager but it’s up to you to touch base and make sure your management team is practicing on-the-job training for your employees.

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