Training your staff can be a lifelong struggle.  It involves managing multiple personality types, preferences and skill levels.  There’s also an ever-changing web of personal baggage that staff bring into the workplace.  That’s why it’s important to help train your staff strategically, so that they regularly provide the appropriate level of service. 

Here are a few tips in training your staff to help provide a top-notch practice everyday:

1. Be prepared – If you don’t allow time for your team to prepare for the day or respond to unexpected interruptions in the schedule, your staff will be in survival mode all day long. That is a surefire road to burnout, and leads to a place where improvements in processes and patient care will not happen. If you don’t provide this extra time for your staff, don’t be surprised if they appear short-tempered and eventually burn out.

2. Train – Set aside time to train your staff – or simply communicate with them.  Morning huddles for a few minutes before the day starts or regular staff meetings can help improve the flow with your team.  Staff members need to be trained in a specific process or approach, rather than you telling one person and hoping everyone else will follow suit.  Set aside the time to intentionally train your staff.

3. Map your procedures – One of the best things you can do is to map out all of your procedures.  This helps tremendously when you add new staff and provides direction and standards across all staff on how things should be done in the practice. 

4. Goal planning – Goals should be set within the practice on all levels.  Yes, you may have business goals, but you should also include staff in goal-setting whenever possible.  The more ownership they have, the more likely they will work toward reaching these goals.  Goals should also be set on the individual level to help staff improve themselves.

5. Benchmark – Annual reports or regular check-ins are important for your team.  As a small business owner, you may be tempted to neglect this important process, but it is vital for your staff management, as well as for your staff morale.  As the manager/owner, you have an opportunity to express any concerns as well as encourage any successes.  Conversely, the staff has an opportunity to express concerns and also know where they stand as employees.  In the long-term, this is something that is worth every minute of your schedule to do!

Training your staff is a continual process, just as ongoing learning is a huge part of your own professional development.  Take the time to invest in your staff’s improvement and you will reap the rewards of a well-run office!

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