Keeping staff and associate doctors all on the same page when running a successful practice can be a huge challenge. As the workload increases, clear communication and effective staff meetings become crucial to the practice’s success. Here are 5 Steps for effective optometry office staff meetings:
1. Create an agenda
For your regular weekly staff meetings, prepare an organized list of questions and concerns to be discussed. Here is an easy-to-follow template for your agenda:
- Give your agenda a title.
- Include “who?”, “where?”, and “when?” information in the header.
- Write a brief statement of the meeting objective(s).
- Write a schedule outlining the main elements of the meeting.
- Allocate time in the schedule for any special guests.
- Leave extra time at the end of the meeting for Q&A.
- Check the agenda for errors before distributing it.
2. Employee Feedback
Harvard Business Review published that employee feedback leads to as much as 46% higher job satisfaction. Give feedback to your employees in the staff meeting, especially regarding practice wins or stand-out customer service. Taking the time to mention the positive traits of each of your staff members reinforces that you’re acknowledging the hard work constantly done for the upkeep of your practice. That truly makes staff members believe that their hard work is being recognized and appreciated.
3. Time Management
Considering most staff meetings are done outside of regular work hours, they usually last about one hour. Decide on a set time for your meeting so that the staff can always know and schedule it as a priority. To stay on task, some experts have suggested adding time limits to your agenda items and then pulling out the stopwatch to stay on task. It’s also important in a larger practice to allow your staff to give insight into their days. It’s helpful for the staff and morale to know what their other colleagues are doing. If possible, reserve time for each practice role to educate the other staff members on their duties and what they do to help achieve the practice’s goals.
4. Create Action Items
A major reason to have regular staff meetings is to assign tasks, record them and track their status. It is important to write down the agreed tasks following the meeting to make the management easier for the office; that way, the tasks are correctly recorded with no room for miscommunication or misunderstanding. Out of all 5 steps for effective staff meetings, this is probably the most important one.
5. One-on-One meetings – 5 Steps for Effective Optometry Office Staff Meetings
Conduct regular one-on-one meetings with each staff member. This can be time-consuming; however, the effort of taking the time to listen and receive feedback to problems (personal and professional) goes a long way and also helps to shape the morale and culture of the office environment. Personal meetings are also a great place for training and development of each staff member. All in all, these one-on-ones become a valuable opportunity for the employer to learn how and where they can improve and to share ideas.