0 How to Retain Good Employees
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Dynamic Chiropractic – December 1, 2022, Vol. 40, Issue 12

How to Retain Good Employees

By Quentin Terpstra

With hiring being more challenging recently, it is vital that we look into the steps taken to retain good employees. If you've ever hired someone you thought was a great fit, but two weeks later thought to yourself, I don't know what happened; I don't think it's going to work out, this article is for you.

Your intuition that they had great potential was most likely correct; but I'm willing to bet you didn't do all that you could to ensure they were fully set up to work competently and efficiently in your office.

There are several things you can and should be doing with each new hire to help them have a great chance at success in your practice, all of which are pretty easy to implement right away.

1. Have an Onboarding Plan in Place

good employees - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Even if you hired a front-desk person with more than 20 years of experience, you're still going to need a good onboarding program for your office. No two offices are the same – you have plans and systems in place for your office, and they run differently than other offices. If that front-desk person just runs as they were in the other office, they're likely to create chaos.

Your onboarding process should be unique to your office, but in general, it should have the following:

  • A full write-up of the job. Ideally, this is written up by someone who is holding the job now. It should be reviewed by the owner (you) and have the systems in place for the practice
  • A checklist of daily duties
  • Training for the position in your practice
  • Role playing / drilling different scenarios with the position

Let's break this down further:

A full write-up of the job is extremely beneficial because your practice runs things differently than any other practice. It's important to write up what is expected of the new employee and how to do specifics of their job. If you don't have a write-up for their position, have someone who has held that position successfully in the past write up their successful actions and what they do when they encounter different scenarios.

A checklist of their daily duties is essential to making sure they don't forget something, especially when they're first starting out.

Training for their specific position in your practice should be more than just a quick, "Here's what you do" explanation. Training should be in-depth and give new staff knowledge of what's expected of their position in your office. This may involve shadowing an experienced team member for a few days.

Role playing or drilling various scenarios of their position is crucial. For example, a receptionist should practice what they learned through their write-up or training. They should practice with you or your office manager on how they should answer a phone call, schedule new patients, greet patients when they walk in, etc. This way, you / your OM can give live feedback and they can get comfortable handling tough situations.

2. Give Purpose to Their Training

If you've ever sat a new hire down to watch training videos, but saw they were scrolling on their phone at the same time, they most likely don't have a good purpose behind doing so. If you don't give a purpose as to why they're getting trained to do the various aspects of their job, they won't see the importance of it.

This should be more than, "You have to do this as part of your job," or "It's just mandatory that you watch these training videos." While that may be true, the real purpose of training is so they can ultimately help the practice get more patients healthy. They are a crucial part of helping each patient who walks through your door regain their health. Plus, getting fully trained and competent on their post is what will ensure patients are happy and healthy again; as well as help the practice grow and be a great place to work.

3. Check in on Them Periodically

Whether it's you, your office manager or a senior employee in the practice, have someone check on your new hire throughout the day during their first month or so on the job. This way, if they don't understand something or need help, you can quickly address it.

Sometimes people won't ask for help or clarification on something because they don't want to come across as inexperienced. So, they ignore it or set it aside for later, which results in emotions being built up and mistakes being made.

If you notice an employee seems more negative, frustrated, lacking enthusiasm for the job, etc., someone should genuinely ask them how things are going and be willing to help them.

For example, let's say you notice your receptionist didn't finish confirming patients that day when normally they do. You could say something like, "Hey, I noticed you didn't finish the confirms today. Did you run into any difficulty?" From there, you can see what needs to be handled to get them back on track.

4. Teach the Terminology

Even experienced employees don't fully understand some of the verbiage within a chiropractic practice. This can cause confusion and mistakes within the workplace, so it's important to create a list of all specialized words and their abbreviations. Here's a quick example:

Subluxation, herniation, decompression, PRP. You may know what these mean (and not even think about them), but many of your employees don't – and can get tripped up because of it.

There are many words that should be clearly defined for each employee. That way, as they hear these words while they work throughout the day, they will know exactly what's being said.

Practice Pearls

You hired each employee because you saw they had great potential at helping you with the purpose of your practice. The best thing you can do for each new employee is to help them get up to speed, be fully competent on their job, and understand how you run things. That way, they can be fully focused on helping each patient who walks through your door; and they'll know exactly what to do in any situation. And as a result, you'll have employees who win and a practice patients are happy to visit.

Quentin Terpstra is a partner at The Business Academy and has helped thousands of chiropractic, integrated and physical medicine offices expand their practices over the past 10 years. The Business Academy has worked with over 4,000 practices with marketing, conversion organization and seeing more patients while practice owners achieve more freedom in their lives. Learn more at www.thebusinessacademy.com and attend one of The Business Academy's introductory workshops.

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