Insights From Our Editors

What Makes Employees More Productive?

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Feb. 12, 2020

Much has been written about spurring productivity in business. Do you know how to measure your staff’s productivity and then how to improve it? Here are key ways to create a more productive staff that is better primed to serve patients and help your practice grow.

IDENTIFY THE PRODUCT OF EACH JOB IN THE PRACTICE
The very first place to start is to make sure that every staff member knows what they produce for the practice. This is more than just what they do. What they do is process, not product.

An example here will help. The person in your office in charge of recall has the product of getting established patients to return for care. Processes that may be utilized are pre-appointed exams, e-mails, text messages, telephone calls, and yes, even postcards. Technology can also be utilized in the process of getting established patients to return for care.

Think of your agreement with a staff member as an exchange. They give you something valuable and in return you give them something valuable. The recall person gives you the product of patients in your chair returning for care and you give that staff member money.

What if the recall person does not give you something valuable? They tell you they sent 1,000 e-mails and 2,000 text messages, but no established patients showed up in your office for care. Oh, by the way, they still want money for sending the e-mails and text messages. You would be paying for process even when no product occurred. How long would you permit this unfair exchange to continue?

GIVE THE EDUCATION & TRAINING NECESSARY TO CREATE THE PRODUCT
Once a staff member understands and agrees to create the product of their job, then it is important to make sure the staff member has all the education and training necessary to create the product. This goes to the concept of mastery. Everyone in the practice, including doctors, should always be striving toward mastery of their job.

Utilizing best practices, incorporating new techniques, and working on the most effective wording are just a few ways to work on mastery. In the day-to-day working of the job, a staff member or their supervisor may identify additional education or training necessary to improve the creation of the product of the job. Mastery is an ongoing process. Far too many people are stuck with satisfied and are not striving for mastery.

HAVE AN EFFECTIVE REPORTING SYSTEM
We believe in transparent management. Every staff member should be reporting within the practice how well they are controlling their job product. You can do this on a wall in the practice that patients would not see or through a software program, but in either case, every staff member’s reporting should be able to be seen by all other staff members.

We like to see each staff member’s product reported on a daily basis, a three-month trend, and a year-over-year comparison. We believe that success breeds success, so having all the staff aware of how each person in the practice is doing is helpful. Peer pressure can be a good thing when managed appropriately. This also helps in employee evaluations. This type of reporting system answers the question of “How am I doing?”

Take this week to re-evaluate how you measure staff productivity and implement ways to improve.

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