This article was contributed by Suzie Hoitink, RN FACN and a Director and Senior Consultant at HTNK Consulting. Suzie has been recognised for her entrepreneurship within the cosmetic industry since establishing the Clear Complexions Clinics in 2005. With the unique experience gained from starting a medical practice, scaling and then selling to a publicly listed company, Suzie has become an in-demand authority on the business of healthcare.
Drowning in the constant daily drama of clinic life? Tired of finally hiring the ‘perfect’ team member only to have them move on after you’ve trained them?
I’m not an HR expert, but in my 13 years of growing the Clear Complexions Clinics then selling all six clinics to an ASX listed company, I have had hundreds of doctors, nurses and administrative staff be a part of my team. However, despite the best of intentions on the part of most, early on it was a rare day when there wasn’t drama of some kind.
It took me a while to realise the problem was me.
It was a powerful revelation. Once I took ownership, I was empowered to change the situation and in doing so built a loyal, high performing team that became the envy of the industry.
Today, I work with a lot of owners who turn themselves inside out trying to keep their team ‘happy’. They resort to big bonuses and incentives as a silver bullet but invariably it is never enough, and they lose valuable people to someone offering more. There is a better way.
It’s my 3-step plan to developing a high performing team.
Step 1: Set the scene
I’m a believer that people want more than a pay check. I believe they want to be part of something, to be professionally developed and to know if they are achieving.
Setting the scene, means being able to clearly articulate your brand identity. This is why you exist, for whom you exist and how you serve them – what makes you different. This is your Vision, Mission and Values.
I know, sounds like a lot of business mumbo jumbo but trust me, once you can articulate your Vision statement to your team, you will galvanise them behind you and that is powerful.
Your Mission statement enables your clients to understand why they should come to you, articulating what you do, how you do it and for whom.
Knowing what you want to achieve is one thing, the other is how you want it achieved. These are your 4-6 value statements that can make or break your organisation. Most clinics I see have a set of values which are well meaning but essentially useless statements. Your company values are what you hire and fire staff on; they sit on all position descriptions and form part of every team members performance improvement program. They are crucial to driving a culture of success and for aligning staff behaviour with your Vision and Mission.
Step 2: Set systems to support
The days of hiring staff, giving them a day or two of training then letting them loose on your valuable clients is over. You need systems in place to support them initially and ongoing.
Establishing a documented onboarding and training program will pay you back in spades as people come through your business. For new recruits, it sets the tone for the supportive culture you want to create as well as fast tracks their potential earnings for you. This isn’t as complex as it sounds.
Ensure you have all the policies and procedures in place; administrative, clinical and compliance, that outline everything from how to answer a phone call, how to perform every treatment and what to do in case of an adverse event. Again, I understand this seems overwhelming, but the benefits for consistency, safety and staff retention are obvious.
Step 3: Set them up to succeed
Every staff member craves feedback. Setting your staff up for success means knowing what success is, for them individually.
How do you know?
You set in place a Performance Management Program. It’s at this point, most business owners tap out – too hard. It isn’t. This is simply a structured monthly performance review conducted by the manager/owner where with every staff member, they collaboratively review performance and provide constructive feedback on opportunities to improve.
Providing constructive, objective feedback is a skill like any other and may need to be developed in the managers/owners so we are always playing the ball and not the player so to speak. Your company values will form an integral part of the monthly reviews guiding appropriate and culturally aligned behaviour.
Performance reviews are a two-way street, giving team members a platform to discuss issues and/or potential areas of opportunity for the clinic and themselves. This provides you valuable feedback/ideas and ensures all staff feel valued and aligned.
Deleting the daily drama starts with you
Take responsibility and get some help to set in place structure to provide inspirational, supportive and collaborative professional development. It will pay you back in spades.
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