You're staff is running the business. Try to make sure they're running the business as though they owned it themselves.
- Realize that your clinic or medical spa succeeds via the efforts of the staff.
Just because you're in charge doesn't mean you deserve all the credit for the work being done. Your staff is responsible for much if not most of the work. When you're working in a clinic as a physician, you're working as a technician. You're working 'in' the business, not 'on' the business. There's a difference.
- No one really works for you.
Perhaps you think that your staff works for you since you pay them. They don't. They, like everyone else, work for themselves. You need to devise a system and business that makes working in your clinc the best individual choice for them. Fail this one and you'll have constant turnover and strive. The mark of a true novice.
- Delegate responsibility and then trust your staff.
Micro-managers are never appreciated. Once you've trained someone to handle a task, allow them to handle it. Different people have different approaches, and their way of doing something may be just as efficient as the way you would do it, so before you step in and force your way on them, give an honest evaluation to their method, and if you find theirs works just as well, even if it's different from yours, let them be. Constantly correcting them undercuts their confidence and does not allow them to exercise their own style and can often be detrimental. An esthetician or technician who's intimidated or criticized for asking for help will stop asking, putting you at risk for unwanted outcomes.
- Know your employees to know your strength.
Watch your staff, get to know them as individuals. The cream always rises to the top, and it's your job to figure out which employees do what is required in their jobs, and which employees do all they can in their jobs. There's a distinction. When I hire I'm very clear about what is expected: Whatevern needs to be done. I don't have time for prima donnas.
- Clone yourself - many times.
Once you've identified the best of the best, teach them your job. That's right. Teach them to be you (as much as possible). Most bad bosses are under the (mistaken) impression that there is something unique that makes them indispensable. The truth is, the best boss trusts his staff and re-creates himself many times over so that in case of emergencies in his absence the Good Boss has excellent help that can be utterly relied upon. Cloning yourself means that you don't need to go to work as much, freeing you to do as you please and knowing your business is earning as much today without you there as it would if you had to go there and slave away. And remember, too, that you're creating another good boss! Give your staff some rope. Some will make bows and some will hang themselves.
- Empower your staff to make critical decisions, and don't second-guess them.
This is a big one. If you've done a good job of training your people to be your proxies, then you must know they are doing their best to act in your (and your company's) best interest. Even if they make a wrong decision, or handle a situation in a way you would not have, don't second guess or berate them. Instead, use it as yet another training opportunity. Hear out their reasons for their action - most of the time, when taken in context, there was a logical basis for what they decided to do. My staff is expected to make all decisons in this order:
- What's in the best interest of the patient.
- What's in the best intereste of the business.
- What's in their own best interest.
- Create a clear chain of command. If you are the owner and have a manager, be sure the rest of the staff understands the chain - they are to take problems to their direct manager first, and only then escalate that problem to you if they are still unsatisfied. When leaving, say, "Joyce, you're in charge." This lets any additional staff know who's the boss in your absence, plus, goofy as it sounds, it makes Joyce square up her shoulders and realize that she now 'has the bridge.'
- Help them learn to work out issues without your intervention. Sometimes one or more of your staff may experience friction with others. If they come tattling on one another to you, listen to them carefully. If someone is not fulfilling their responsibilities or is mistreating another employee, you'll need to step in and resolve the conflict yourself. But if you're satisfied it's only an issue of competition or a simple personality clash, urge them to settle it between themselves.
- Deal with any problems quickly and directly. Any boss who is terribly busy totally understands this concept: "I don't need all the details. Bottom line it for me." You don't have to be so blunt that you crush people, but being direct and honest is a big timesaver, and frankly, appreciated in the end. When you see a problem, deal with it quickly and don't nag your people about it later - let done be done.
- Tell your staff how much you appreciate them - in front of others if possible. (Some authoritarian doctors have a real problem with this one.) Never hesitate to pat your employees on the back, compliment and thank them for their excellent service - if customers are there, letting them know how you value your people can go a long way toward the customers actually having more faith in the services your business provides. When your staff feels valued and appreciated, their job means more to them than simply a paycheck. When your customers know that you, as the owner (or manager) think highly of your staff, they feel confident that they're in good hands, and it leaves you more freedom to leave your customers in the very capable hands of your staff. See how this becomes a "win-win-win"? By lifting up your employee while your customer was watching, ALL of you got something good from it - with zero downside.
- Show your appreciation by doing things for them. They go the extra mile for you. You do something nice for them. Buy everyone lunch every other Wednesday. Be sure there's a supply of their favorite sodas in a small fridge for them. If you get extra tickets to something you know they would enjoy, offer them to them as a bonus for work well done. Remember their birthdays, at least enough to wish them a happy day, or buy them a cupcake. (I try to make an occasional Starbucks run.)
Take care of your staff and they'll take care of you.
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