Here are 10 ways practices can motivate their front desk team.
These tips rely on two main qualities that practices and practitioner alike must possess: Good leadership and good communication.
Remember, your team looks up to you and imitates your attitude, your enthusiasm and the quality of your service.
- Weekly team meetings to fire up reception. As a mental exercise, put each team member in charge of the practice. What would they change, how would they run the business, how would they increase the revenue? The team member with the best idea will be rewarded by implementing the new idea. But give them a prize, too (e.g. gift voucher) and don’t forget to provide assistance along the way.
Educate, educate, educate. Bring your team to expos or sign them up for a practice management course or invite experts to your practice for a product information session. Your patients will be interested, too. In conversation with your patients, your team member will sound informed and will inspire trust.
- Encourage your team to try a treatment or use a new product for free. They will understand and BELIEVE the benefits and in return, tell all their family, friends, and your patients. Nothing is more credible than a satisfied patient. And remember the power of word of mouth; your team and their environment offers a wide circle of potential new patients.
- Reward your team for selling or up selling services. Run an internal competition, whereby the team member with the highest sales activity receives a mention and a prize. Find out what motivates your individual team member (cash, accreditation, or holidays).
Implement a follow up system on patients without further appointments. Put your team’s newly gained enthusiasm to use. Patients are more likely to book appointments if they feel that you and your team are attentive and caring. Write a follow up procedure and include a category in your patient management system where the team can make notes on these calls.
- Implement a bonus program. The most effective bonus programs include all team members and can be tied to monthly or quarterly practice revenue. Get the buy in from your team. Explain the program clearly and show ways on how each individual can contribute to achieving the goals and therefore receiving a bonus.
- Provide public praise. If your assistant goes above and beyond to be helpful or takes initiative, recognise them in public. Thank and praise them at a meeting or on the spot, mention it to patients when something was their idea. Implement the Team Member of the Month. If you need to put them back in their place, always set up a private meeting.
- Provide written job descriptions and regular performance reviews. Clarity and agreement on duties will create happy and motivated employees. We recommend regular reviews at six month intervals with clearly defined KPI and the opportunity for their salary to increase on exceeding performance. Your team member knows that they will get a chance to speak with you and discuss any ideas, initiatives or issues in private. It will also act as a reminder to review the status quo and not become complaisant. Constant improvement is the key.
- Give each member a personal title. Have some fun with this one. The title can highlight a staff’s strength, like, “Reception Extraordinaire,” or “Scheduling Superstar.” How about interjecting some humour in the workplace and encourage creativity.
- Foster strong teamwork. Since you can’t see everything, encourage your team to praise each other. (T)ogether (E)veryone (A)chieves (M)ore…