It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges for eye care practices post-COVID is staffing. Successfully finding, attracting, and retaining the right talent has become a top priority for practices looking to build a winning (dream) team. So how do you get started?
Develop a Strong Brand
There’s a reason many new Optometrists seek out business courses and training when they first open their practice. While Optometry school provides a strong foundation in clinical skills and patient care, it often falls short in preparing Optometrists for the business aspects of running a practice, including staffing and managing a team.
You know you need a dream team that can hit the ground running, but how do you find them? As an employer, one of the best ways to stand out is by having a strong digital brand. Your brand, including your website and digital listings, should effectively communicate your practice’s unique values, services, culture, and mission. Using empathy and emotion works—help candidates envision the meaningful work they’ll accomplish daily improving your patient’s eyesight.
The same brand principles should apply for your job postings on boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. The detailed job descriptions you post shouldn’t just clearly outline the position’s responsibilities and requirements. They should also highlight the benefits of working for you and why the role is important. To that point, a 2019 LinkedIn survey found that 74% of job seekers look for an altruistic role where they feel like their work matters – like they’re part of the dream team.
Directly addressing your compensation can do wonders as well. Many practices opt to hide wages in job postings, or make candidates go through multiple interviews before finally revealing the salary. Offering a bit of wage transparency can go a long way in building trust with potential hires.
Training Is Easier with Clear Goals
It goes without saying that developing your staff is essential to building a winning team. Investing in your team’s skills and abilities not only improves your practice’s performance, but also increases employee satisfaction and retention.
To do that, you’ll need clearly defined practice goals. What do you want your practice to achieve? Training is easier when your success is clearly defined. That way, you can ensure that the metrics you use to evaluate your staff’s performance work towards your high-level practice goals. Here’s the strategy:
- Develop a plan: Does your practice want to improve patient experience or reputation management? Whatever your goals may be, if they’re defined, you can break them into smaller milestones and adjust your employee’s duties to help you achieve them. Your staff will be more invested because they’ll feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
- Offer training and development: Provide ongoing training and development opportunities to help your staff grow professionally. This can include in-person training, online courses, and attending industry conferences.
- Cross-train employees: Developing your employee’s skill sets is a great way to empower their growth. Cross-training also helps to build a more versatile team that can fill in for one another when necessary.
Validate Your Team’s Hard Work
Whether it’s your practice manager, optician, receptionist or new optometrist, your staff is on the frontlines helping patients. Showing your appreciation for their hard work is paramount to maintain morale. Use your website and social media channels to showcase your dream team and highlight how their efforts uphold your practice’s unique selling points.
Having staff ask patients to submit Google reviews is another way to recognize their amazing work. Asking for reviews is win-win: If patients identify areas for improvement, you’ll know exactly where your training falls short. And if the reviews are great, anyone that reads them—including your employees—will see how great of a job they do, and by proxy how great your training is. Don’t forget to ask your patients if you can display their reviews on your site, especially if they mention your employees by name.
Save Staff Time
So, you’ve found the right staff, and they’re helping you reach goals you never knew you had…how do you retain them? By making their job easier with automation. It could be as simple as having a real-time scheduler on your site to save your staff a phone call and book patients 24/7. Or it could be preparing patients for their appointment with online forms or useful information related to your services and insurance.
Then there’s patient data management, software to simplify patient email & text communications, and AI-based phone analytics to convert more calls into appointments. By implementing automations into your practice, you can streamline your processes, reduce errors, and free up your staff to focus on more critical tasks.
Building a winning team isn’t easy. It requires attracting rock star talent, developing their skills to work toward your practice goals, and retaining them through recognition and automation. By following these steps, you can build a team that not only helps grow your practice and brand, but also feels valued and appreciated.
Want to automate practice processes & save your staff time? EyeCarePro’s Optimizers improve your processes so staff can focus on what matters—delivering excellent patient care.