Staff Management

4 Ways to Follow Ted Lasso’s Lead to Create Engaged & Productive Employees

Dr. Quintero (middle) with two staff members. The series, Ted Lasso, has given Dr. Quintero ideas for how she can better manage and inspire staff to greatness.

By Michele Quintero, OD

April 20, 2022

Part II of a two-part article on practice management lessons from the Apple TV streaming series Ted Lasso. Click HERE to read Part I for the first four “Lassoisms.”

Ted Lasso, the title character in the comedy-drama series by the same name, is not always the smoothest operator, and there is much he initially gets wrong. However, one of the things this small-time American football coach, who comes to England to lead a professional soccer team, immediately gets right is the importance of creating an enjoyable workplace. Here are four takeaways for practice owners.

Lassoism #5: Never Become So Focused on Work that You Forget to Have Fun
If you work an eight-hour day, you are spending about half your waking hours with your co-workers and staff. No one wants to work in a place where they never have fun. Engage in team-building exercises that build employee confidence and increase morale. Play games, take a mini-vacation together, meet for happy hour, or encourage activities outside of the office. Having fun together builds camaraderie. When employees like each other, they will enjoy coming to work, and ultimately, be more productive.

Lassoism #6: Bring Biscuits (or cookies)
Every morning Ted would bring his boss, Rebecca, biscuits. He used this time for getting to know each other one-on-one. Surprise your staff with cookies, coffee or donuts once in a while to let them know they are appreciated. A small surprise goes a long way toward brightening someone’s day. The other takeaway here is that you want to make it a point to check in with each member of your staff. It does not need to be daily like Ted does, but often enough so they know they have your support and attention. Also, get to know each of your employees on a personal level. Learn what’s important to them. Take a sincere interest in their lives, and share things that are important to you as well. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability to your employees. Genuinely caring about your employees and their lives builds trust between you and the employee. Having this trust allows you to be a more effective leader.

Lassoism #7: Be a Gold Fish
“You know who the happiest animal in the world is? A goldfish. Why? It’s got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish,” – Ted Lasso.

As practice owners, we should all be goldfish and forget past mistakes and losses. Learn from them and move on. No one is perfect, and mistakes will be made. Maybe someone’s glasses order wasn’t processed on time, a patient’s call wasn’t returned as soon as it should have been or a patient’s contact lenses are on backorder due to supply-chain issues out of your control, and the patient does not understand or simply does not care and decides to berate your staff or leave a bad review. In these instances, learn from what went wrong, see if there are things you can change to streamline your processes to make sure it doesn’t happen again and then move on. Life is too short to let these things ruin your day or to lose sleep over. Be a goldfish.

Lassoism #8: Celebrate the Wins Both Big & Small
In one episode of Ted Lasso, the team lost an important game. When they got back to the locker room, Ted had planned a party to celebrate one of the player’s birthdays. While everyone was disappointed about the loss, they were able to shift their mood and focus on something positive, the team member’s birthday.

When running a practice, it is also important to celebrate both the big and small wins. Praise your team when they meet goals, whether it’s the daily, monthly or the yearly goal. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them. Even if they don’t hit the goal, but you know everyone truly gave it their best effort, celebrate the effort. This will not only help to create a fun working environment; it will also help to keep up office morale. Celebrate the professional wins, but also celebrate the personal wins. When an employee has something in their personal life they are excited about, be excited for them and with them, and help them celebrate.

Ted Lasso was hired to coach a team for a sport he knew nothing about. He has been successful because he knows how to relate to people and takes a sincere interest in the whole person of everyone with whom he interacts. There are many lessons we could learn from Ted Lasso, but perhaps the most important ones are to be sincere and be present. I am looking forward to season three to see what else I can learn from Ted Lasso and how I can apply it to my practice.

Michele Quintero, OD, is the owner of two cold-start practices: Lakeshore Eye Care located in Cypress, Texas, and Advances in Vision located in Houston. To contact her: MQuintero.OD@gmail.com

 

 

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