4 ways to optimize staff

4 ways to optimize staff

Excerpted from the April 2015 edition of AOA Focus

Connect with employees, and they will be motivated to come to work and succeed.

O­ften paraoptometric staff are the first—and last—link between your patients and the practice, meaning effective and congenial staff are worth their weight in gold.

Competent paraoptometrics are a crucial part of your practice operations, so to ensure everything continues running like a well-oiled machine, doctors need to put in the maintenance time. Here are several ways doctors can ensure staff excellence equals practice success.

  1. Hire right. The road to effective office staff begins with smart hiring practices. Amanda Van Voris, director of client solutions at Cleinman Performance Partners, recommends doctors clearly define the job they are hiring for and avoid excessive cross-coverage of duties. Recognize varying behavioral styles that might make staff better for one position over another; for example, an excellent technician might struggle in optical, Van Voris says. She recommends hiring for attitude as well as aptitude.

  2. Learn what motivates your staff. Really get to know your staff on a personal level, says Peter Shaw-McMinn, O.D., practitioner and assistant professor at Southern California College of Optometry. As you learn more about each staff member, doctors can develop a customized strategy for motivating them. Dr. Shaw-McMinn suggests doctors ask themselves questions such as: What are each individual employee’s goals? What excites them? What does the employee like about working here? Connect with employees, and they will be motivated to come to work and succeed.

  3. Emphasize personal development. Out of the gate, it’s important to underscore with employees that personal development is a practice requirement. Van Voris says to make and keep a commitment to an annual training budget and celebrate certifications earned.

    Don’t assume that money is the most important motivator. The vast majority of talent today wants to work in a cultural environment they can believe in—one that also believes in them as professionals, Van Voris says.

  4. Don’t forget the little things. Sometimes all it takes is recognition of a job well done. Dr. Shaw-McMinn suggests doctors provide regular feedback on performance and demonstrate a caring attitude in a positive working environment. Little things add up; Dr. Shaw-McMinn suggests displaying the employee’s name in his or her work area, having a staff recognition event and bringing pizza for the office, or simply saying “thank you” around the office.

Enroll paraoptometrics for AOA associate membership and access to AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center benefits. For more information, visit aoa.org/paraoptometrics.

May 1, 2015

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