3 Steps to Creating a Strong Clinical Team

By Gina McClowry, McClowry Consulting

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that there are many things outside of our control. With the dramatic changes to service delivery and patience care over the last few months, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and overly focused on the many things that have changed and continue to change in hearing healthcare.

But what if you focused your energies on one of the things that you can control and one that has the BIGGEST impact on your patient experience and bottom line?

Your staff is the single biggest contributor to your practice’s success.Your team is probably comprised of hardworking professionals who are well-intentioned, smart, technically astute and kind. But, there is likely room for improvement, and right now, their soft spots may be holding your practice back.

Here are three ways you can strengthen your team to grow your bottom line.

1. Provide training

No matter how talented your team members are, they need initial training (new hires) and ongoing training (seasoned employees) to excel. To design a staff training plan, identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that are needed to meet the practice goals.

Two helpful questions to ask yourself include:

  • “What are my employees doing that I wish they would stop doing?”
  • “What would I like my employees to start doing that they are not doing right now?”

The answers to those questions can help point you in the right direction to begin planning training interventions. Remember, properly trained employees are happier and more productive. Money invested in training your staff is always money well spent.

2. Get rid of toxic influences

Employees who repeatedly bully others, spread gossip, think the rules do not apply to them or take credit for other people’s work are toxic to your organizational culture. Leaders are often reluctant to rock the boat or confront troublesome employees but failing to do so almost always causes worse fallout.

One bad apple CAN spoil a bunch, and employees with poor performance or poor attitude will reverberate throughout your clinic, affecting teammates, patients and your bottom line negatively. You must act quickly and confidently to address toxic team members, and you should never retain anyone on your team who is not fully committed to the success of the practice.

3. Recognize and reward

Recognition helps employees see how much their employer values them and encourages them to continue doing great work. Make sure you have rewards and recognition plans in place that reward the types of behaviors you want to encourage.

Recognition should be timely, specific and merit based. Give out raises and bonuses when they are earned, not just “because.” And remember that appreciation and rewards go beyond money – an extra day off, a handwritten thank-you note and a small yet personalized gift or token of appreciation can go a long way.

Surrounding yourself with a strong team is key to your practice’s success. Follow these tips, and you’ll have the support you need to create and sustain a thriving practice.