To arrive at a higher alternative requires implementing certain things into your work planning. Here are some suggestions that are currently working well in Australian practices.
Regular one-on-one meetings
To ensure that you are addressing everyone’s needs and to get the most out of each team member, one-on-one meetings are essential. By making each individual feel valued and communicating your confidence in them to them in this setting, employees will feel more committed to the business and to achieving not only their goals but those of the business as well.
Regular goal setting
Goal setting is a regular activity for business owners but not so much for their associate physiotherapists or support staff. Goal setting needs to be done regularly for all team members and everyone’s goals are to be treated with great importance in order to enrol everyone in the same vision. (The vision that is arrived at via the higher alternative.)
Do not just reserve courses regarding planning, management, entrepreneurship, self development, public speaking etc. for the business owners. All practice members need the opportunity to improve their level of education in these areas on a regular basis.
Conduct regular and structured reviews with team members. This is a strong management technique and an opportunity to go through further goal setting, provide constructive feedback, and encourage more active involvement. All of these do not involve compromise but rather concentrate on developing better (higher alternative) goals and strategies for all team members.
Lateral thinking and brainstorming exercises
Put time aside to mind map all the ways to arrive at a suggested goal or solution. Most often, by following this process you will find an easier method and hence a better outcome for everyone. I suggest that you incorporate these into monthly meetings.
Within every practice there needs to be the opportunity for members of the business to take responsibility for their professional promotions and gains. By having a promotional system for each role within a practice and making this readily available, staff will take more responsibility, offer more of themselves and feel more aligned with the business, its patients and its values (mission statement). If you do not have a mission statement and/or promotional system in your practice, put one in place now.
It is important to realise that you cannot simply brush over the topic of leadership. The economy of today is based primarily on knowledge work and that means that wealth has migrated from money and things to people and their contributions to businesses. Our greatest financial investment is in our people; by getting the most out of your people your business will be set to profit and grow at a rapid and lasting rate.
Physiotherapy is based on the delivery of a service in order to arrive at a great pain-relieving ‘experience’ rather than selling a product. It is therefore more important for our industry than most to focus on nurturing and developing our greatest assets: our staff.
During a downturn in a market (such as that which we have recently experienced), the greatest resource that businesses have is in the creative capacity to develop higher alternatives to continue to grow. The natural tendency is for people to go back to the command-and-control transactional industrial model, which is not sustainable in the long term. You need deep involvement of everyone to make significant changes sustainable, and great leadership is required to achieve this deep involvement and creative change for a better method and outcome.