You just attended an awesome physiotherapy marketing workshop and now you want to implement all this cool new stuff at your clinic. You also want to start selling retail products to your clients (such as tens machines) so your clinic can offer a complete solution to patients.
After the workshop you plan a team meeting to share your goals and visions but, nobody seems as excited as you. There seems like an air of resistance and lack of commitment. Still, you want to move ahead so set a plan for people to implement, which includes selling more retail products to patients at their visits.
Weeks go by and nothing gets done, nothing changes. Despite your big team meeting and action plan, everyone seems to go back to their usual routine, forgetting about the ultimate plan altogether!
The challenge clinic owners have is:
When your culture sucks and your staff are not engaged, nobody will want to do anything!
Let’s talk about what healthcare management really is, why culture is your first focus toward a successful business, and what makes your clinicians and employees engaged. At the end I’ve also put together a quiz so you can test how much engagement you currently have - if there’s a gap, then you will know what to fix!
Management is not an easy task.
And, if we look years back, one of the fundamental flaws is we created the role of this ‘almighty manager.’ The head honcho that dishes out orders without putting things into context or without working toward any overall goals and objectives.
On the receiving end, this kind of managment just can’t create positive experiences with the team. It leads to disempowerment and the inability to contribute at a greater level.
Though there are always going to be complexities with management, fortunately this type of hierarchical management is a thing of the past, well at least it should be.
“When the manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.” ~ Warren Bennis
So how can we make the right things happen?
In the introduction I said: When your culture sucks and your staff are not engaged, nobody will want to do anything!
Therefore, great healthcare management starts with building core values and a culture that really matters. From there, clinicians and employees can collectively work toward the overall company goals and objectives. And at the same time it creates a more meaningful workplace and more meaningful work - this is a job attribute that is incredibly important to people in today’s times.
Tony Hsieh of Zappos says: “Core values guide us in everything we do today.”
“We developed a list of committable core values…not just values that end up being part of a meaningless plaque on the wall,” says Tony.
About 2 years ago here at Clinic Supplies Canada (CSC), we took the time to develop core values. Just like Zappos, everything we do is now based on our core values.
We hire all our staff based on core values and train on skill. As a result of developing these core values, we have highly motivated, engaged and happy employees who love their job.
Because they love their job our customer satisfaction is very high. And as a measure of success, CSC is seeing a 65% growth year after year.
Core Values Of Clinic Supplies Canada
Our core values are:Create Magical Experiences
We love people and our goal is to provide our clients with magical experiences that make them say “Wow!”
We are trendsetters. We are constantly challenging status quo, listening to our client’s feedback, and validating our assumptions to build the best solution for our clients.Make it Happen
We have the ultimate control of what we do. We are accountable to our peers, our clients, our organization and more importantly ourselves. Making an excuse is easy but making it happen is what gives our clients stunning value.Build a team we love
We are a group of people who value personal growth and love to have fun. Encouraging each other to challenge the tasks that we love doing, and inspire each other to pursue our areas of strength.
You can read my 10 steps to creating core values here.
When you have the fundamentals emanating from the heart of the company, everything else does become easier.
What makes your clinicians or employees highly engaged?
According to Victor Lipman, on Forbes, the average statistic for employee engagement is just 30%. As Lipman suggests, the impact this has on overall productivity is immense. Therefore, for most companies, there’s ample room for improvement.
So it helps to understand a few fundamentals your staff are really looking for.
1. They know what is expected of them
Clinicians and employees need to know where the bar is set. And often they don’t. If what’s expected of them is nonexistent, unclear, outdated, difficult to measure, or subject to interpretation, then you can see why they might have an issue with commitment.
As Lipman says, “In short, accountability becomes less of an issue when the height of the bar is clear, and any discussion about results is rational and fact-based rather than emotional and vague.”
2. They are able to do their best everyday
When people know what is expected of them, they are empowered with the ability to be able to do their best everyday.
3. They have opportunities to grow and learn
Recognize the unique skills and abilities that your staff have and encourage them to expand on them through professional development courses or even hobbies. Also, help staff expand their internal roles and responsibilities where possible. This only adds value to your organizational value.
4. They view their job as important to the company
This comes back to establishing strong core values that emanate throughout everything you do as a collective. Within the collective, everyone matters as much as the next because without one cog in the machine, the machine couldn’t run.
5. Their opinions count at work
Give people room to share their ideas, opinions and concerns and be open to acting on them to continuously improve your organization. The collective mind has the ability to see things that sometimes we as managers can’t see.6. The manager cares about them
The more you put into your employees, the more you get back - plain and simple.
Let’s face it, we have a few fundamental human needs including; to feel significant, having consistency, having inconsistency occasionally - as it brings excitement, the ability to contribute, and the ability to grow and belong.
If you can offer even a few of these fundamental things, you will have more engaged and motivated clinicians and employees.
7. Their colleagues are committed to quality work
It’s no good if you have one person engaged and committed if everyone else is slack and unmotivated. It puts too much pressure on one person's shoulders and leads to burnout and resentment.
That’s why core values are so important. The commitment has to come from the core, emanating through everything and motivating the entire team.
8. Someone encourages their development
Employee development is an overlooked and often neglected area.
All it takes is a manager to be genuinely interested in a clinician or employees development to foster a positive and powerful message. For the person on the receiving end, this interest is often positively accepted. For the little time it takes to show you care, the rewards are many.
9. Someone has talked about their progress
How do you feel when you receive a compliment? Pretty good right?
Other people are the same. It doesn’t take much to acknowledge people’s involvement and progress and only boosts morale and commitment.10. They have a best friend at work
It’s human nature to want to be part of a great family and have wonderful friends around us that we rely on and trust. By building in a great culture, relationships will naturally grow. You want your staff to be best friends, not enemies.
And even more, you want to be their best friend, or at least a friend they feel comfortable they can always approach. Go out of your way to create special occasions to foster relationship growth - work lunches, dinners, outings, workplace fun, welcome parties and so forth.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: How does your healthcare business measure up?
I don’t like to brag but hey, sometimes I deserve to and I’m proud of the company I’ve created. Here at CSC we score a 10/10 for employee engagement!
Despite having a lot of big physiotherapy supply competitors poaching my staff in 2015, I didn't lose any of them, even though the competitors offered big bonuses and salaries.
The key is to build those internal values; then, no amount of money can make a difference because people will always value being part of something great.
The other benefit is that when you have high engagement, it enables you to continuously implement those new ideas you bring home from workshops and have everyone take action on them too.
So the question is, how is your clinician and employee engagement?
Take this 1 minute quiz and see how your clinic ranks.
What’s your score?
Over 8 - well done, your clinicians and employees are highly engaged.
5-8 - you have a medium level of engagement that could be improved.
Less than 5 - your staff lack engagement so you have a lot of work to do.
Building and maintaining a positive workplace that fosters high clinician and employee engagement is an ongoing process. And though it does take some time and effort, it is always worth the effort!
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