Jun18WedJune 18, 2014
Today I want to focus on the team meeting. Last week I discussed team training, and I hope that you stopped talking about the training and started doing the live training. If you were already doing live training, then get the movie camera rolling and let’s get some HD quality training happening!
Team meetings should be scheduled every week. They are scheduled after a morning shift that does not have any reports. They are often done after the team training. Team meetings can be divided into those involving the entire team and one-on-one meetings.
It may also be of benefit to define what team meetings are not. They are not a time to crap all over your team for missing goals. They are not a time for pointing out problems with individual team mates. They are not a time for gossiping or complaining about individual patients.
Once again using a sports analogy, we can look to the sport of football. During meetings with the entire team, the coach will discuss the team vision, team strategies for upcoming practices and games, team goals, expected behaviours, team etiquette, etc. At these meetings, the coach will also review general areas of progress, goals that were met or exceeded, and general areas that require improvement. After this general meeting the players will break up into different subgroups to address specific areas of expertise. There would be offence, defence, and specialty team meetings, and these could be broken down still further into offensive line, defensive line, receiver meetings and so on.
Similarly, in your practice, full team meetings should be about vision – “the big why”.
It is a time for you to lead and instill your vision into your team. After discussing the team vision there is a conversation about how you are doing with walking out the vision and playing from the why. You can get a pulse on how you are doing by looking at the practice statistics. Here you are looking at the big picture stats like patient visits, new patients, and collections. How are you doing as a team relative to the goals that were set earlier in the year?
If, as a team, you are missing your goals, then there are a couple of possible action steps.
First, if the solution is obvious (like all the events got rained out or the shows you did screenings at were not well-attended), then you can discuss these and check your calendar to see what is booked in the coming weeks. Discuss if these events will be enough to hit your goals. Less obvious reasons for missing goals are usually more procedural: missed appointments are creeping up, conversion rates are down, drop out in the first 90 days is increasing, etc.
If the reason for missing the goals is less obvious, then it is probably time for a team vision day to have some extra time to discuss current challenges and work on strategies to overcome these obstacles. Team vision days are usually done once a quarter, and are done in the morning on a day that the office is closed. Friday mornings work best. Very briefly, team vision days allow everyone on the team to brainstorm how we can improve to help hit our goals. It is about getting input from everybody and making sure that there are no bad ideas. Everyone’s input is taken seriously. At the end of the morning, you should have fine-tuned your strategies, with better team buy-in to a greater vision of what needs to be done to hit your team goals.
Team meetings are also a time to bring up possible problems with individual patients. We typically do not want to discuss bad news before any shift, and so we discuss challenges at the end of the day. It is even better if these challenges can wait to be discussed during the weekly team meeting. Again, these discussions about individual patients needs to be solution-oriented: what is the behaviour that needs to change and what is the best way to help that patient get back on track?
Always end the team meeting on a positive note. Even when things are going horribly wrong, there is always a silver lining. Every day there are patients that are getting healthier. Have some closing stories prepared ahead of time. Highlight a patient video testimonial or pull out a great outcome on a pre and post X-ray. No matter what is going on, God is who HE says He is and God can….
Next week, I am going to highlight the one-on-one team meetings that are critical to your success.