By Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO
July 19, 2023
So, I did some digging to figure out how many meetings the average $1 million dollar business has. After doing loads of research, I stumbled upon this interesting stat:
Average meetings per day:1
- 6 for all employees
- 4 for all executives
This is PER DAY! What??
I’ve come across several articles and books that talk about the reasons many new businesses struggle to level up, and one reason that stands out is that they simply don’t have enough meetings. They also lack variety in the types of meetings they hold, and their meeting schedule is all over the place.
As optometrists, we expect to run our $500,000, $1 million dollar, $2 million dollar, $3 million + businesses by maybe having one meeting a week! No wonder we struggle sometimes!
So, what kind of meetings should we be having, you ask? Well, after diving deep into this topic and obsessing over it (yeah, I tend to obsess sometimes), I have a few thoughts.
I strongly believe in having some sort of Daily Huddle. In my Business of Optometry lecture for Vision Source doctors, I like to call this morning gathering “The Morning Pow-WOW.” We use the acronym WOW to remember what we want to cover each morning.
W stands for Who/What (you know, who’s here, who’s off, and all that jazz).
O stands for Objectives/Obstacles (dealing with difficult patients, rep appointments and handling staff shortages).
W stands for Why. This “Why” is all about understanding the purpose behind our work each day. It could involve reading a patient review out loud, stating our mission statement, or reflecting on our core values.
We wrap up our daily huddle with an iteration of “Let’s go WOW some patients and have some FUN!” This helps reinforce our core values and mission.
Weekly Team Meeting
It’s crucial to have a weekly team meeting where everyone comes together. These meetings can alternate between training/education sessions and strategic discussions, or even a mix of both. Don’t forget to sprinkle in fun during each meeting. Fun and laughter are important for engagement and participation!
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Departmental meetings are also important, although they can be challenging to organize. We make it a point to have weekly doctor meetings and carve out times to hold departmental meetings monthly.
Weekly & Quarterly Off-Site Leadership Meetings
Your administrative, or leadership, team needs to meet weekly, separate from the rest of the staff. I also believe that a quarterly off-site meeting with this same team is invaluable!
Oh, and there’s one more meeting worth considering—one-on-one meetings. Most offices only have an “annual review,” and that’s the only time they sit down with an employee unless there’s an issue. But research shows that providing ongoing feedback, preferably on a weekly basis, is crucial. I think it’s vital to have structured, one-on-one meetings with each employee at least once a quarter. And no, this isn’t a review session, although it could turn into one. Usually, we pick a specific topic to discuss with each employee every quarter. We ask questions like:
“What would you like to learn?”
“What do you like doing the most?”
“What do you like doing the least?”
“Who is your best friend at work?”
“If your colleagues, family and friends were giving you constructive criticism, what would it be?”
Questions like these foster wonderful conversations with your employees.
Finally, remember, employees don’t quit their job, they quit their boss!!
Here is my challenge to you. Add a meeting to what you are currently doing…try it for three months and see if you think it created value for your business, your employees and/or you!