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23 Days to Optometry Staff Perfection by Dr. John Ormando

Day 1 - Psych yourself up! Put on some 'Eye of the Tiger' and start punching the heavy bag. Do whatever you have to do and make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to have a kick ass staff!

Day 2 - Implement a long-term interviewing process. You should have a time set aside for analyzing applications and setting up interview appointments at least one day a week or one day every two weeks. Even if you don't need to hire anyone you should always be interviewing. You never know who you may come across. Be transparent with the interviewee and let them know that you might not have an available position for them now, but possibly in the near future.
Day 3 - Create a set of core values. Read my article on LinkedIn on how to do this.
Day 4 - Review your employee handbook and revise it to make sense. Make sure all of your benefits and rules are clearly spelled out. This includes proper attire and hygiene. You may not be able to do everything at once but add as you need, make an amendment, then make your staff sign the amended handbook as you change it. Message me if you need help on this.
Day 5 - Prepare a speech for an entire office meeting and have the meeting on reviewing the handbook and how you will keep the entire staff accountable for abiding by it.
Day 6 - Have the meeting. Do not let it be a soundboard for negativity. Say what you need to say and allow questions or suggestions through email only, not during the meeting! Allow a limit on questions and suggestions. One to two days is sufficient.
Day 7 - Create a consistent hiring/interviewing protocol. It should revolve around your core values. We have great PDFs on this. Message me if you'd like one.
Day 8 - Implement progress report meetings quarterly.
Day 9 - Implement a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) system. I have a template. Message me if you'd like one.
Day 10 and 11 - Take all of the suggestions and questions from the meeting and revise your employee handbook.
Day 12 - Have another office meeting and have everyone read and sign the new employee handbook in front of each other while you watch. This is for effect.
Day 13 - Fire someone you've always wanted to fire in your office. Just do it. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.
Day 14 - Develop a 30-day training program for new hires. This should be a "know the basics” program. If they can't learn the basics in 30 days, tell them that this isn't working out and move on. Make sure the new hire is aware that this is a trial period to make sure that the business’s core values aligns with their values.
Dave 15 - Create separate personal files and medical files for each employee. You cannot mix the personal and medical information in one file. They need to be separate files. It is the law!
Day 16 - Create an office cleaning protocol. Most practices cannot afford a full-time cleaning company. If you can, great! If not, create affair cleaning protocol for each department. On a side note, if anyone in your office is too good to pick up a piece of paper from the floor, you should fire them. If you are too good to pick up a piece of paper off of the floor, you should fire yourself. Set the tone as the leader and pick it up.
Day 17 - Walk around your office and ask yourself if this is an environment that is welcoming not only for your patients but also your staff. Ask you are most fashionable and hygienic staff members if they have any suggestions on how to make the practice aesthetically better. Yes gentlemen, women are much better at this than us! Treat your staff as good as or better than your patients and you will reap huge rewards.
Day 18 - Call your office from your cell phone and listen how your receptionist answers the phone. You should know what to do from here. If you don’t, feel free to message me.
Day 19 and 20 - Yes I’ll give you two days to do this. Make a calendar that includes a years worth of meetings and performance reviews. Also, review your vacation and sick time policies. I know you should be doing this with the employee manual but this is a bone of contention with staff members if you are wishy-washy with your rules. Making exceptions for lateness and time off destroys office culture. Being fair is much more important than being nice when it comes these policies. Don’t cave! I’ll say that again… Don’t cave!
Day 21 - Review all of the tasks from the previous days and make sure you have accomplished all of them.
Day 22 - Are you interviewing and have you found your superstar employee yet? Don’t stop interviewing even if you are fully staffed!
Day 23 (daytime) - Create staff appreciation days at least every quarter. There are tons of things you can do. Better yet, put them all on the calendar for the upcoming year so that you are prepared, and the staff is looking forward to something! Announce the events in advance so that your entire staff can make arrangements to be there. If you’d like some suggestions, feel free to message me. (Night time). On your ride home from work, stop by your local liquor store and pick up your favorite alcoholic beverage. Then go home and celebrate! You did it!

Well, kind of. Maintaining an excellent staff takes persistence. Staff performance, engagement, and culture can be a roller coaster but taking the above steps will naturally create immediate and significant positive momentum and motivate your team and you! Good luck!

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