As business leaders, we spend our time focusing on what the future of our business or practice needs to look like. Though we may be thoroughly deep in the weeds, we are also paying attention to what next month and next year need to look like – “Are we going to expand our services? Do I have the right staff and do they have the right training? What does success look like for us?”
We may have a clear picture in our head of what we are trying to accomplish, but it is very common to forget the importance of sharing what’s in our head with our teams, receive feedback from them, and then make adjustments to the plans based on what you hear. In today’s high-speed world, it’s becoming more important than ever to provide clear direction and guidance – if there isn’t time to do it right this time, when will we have time to do it right later?
Here are a couple of ways to ensure you are communicating the goals for the upcoming quarter:
1. Write it down and send it out. In our busy world, it’s easy to have a quick conversation about goals and plans, but conversations have a way of being misinterpreted. By writing your goals down and sharing them with the team, you can reduce the likelihood of a misunderstanding. You can also reference back to it time and time again, as questions arise.
2. Review the plans with everyone together. Staff meetings are great for this, but at least once a quarter (more frequent is better), it’s critical to share the direction of the organization, any anticipated changes, and have the opportunity for a question and answer session.
3. Regularly touch base. The famed boxer and philosopher, Mike Tyson, is known for saying that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. He would certainly know. Though we aren’t in the same line of work as Mr. Tyson, things definitely pop up in life. Expect to need to make changes to your plans. Depending upon how dynamic your practice is, you may want to have daily stand-ups – a 10 minute touch base where the team all get together to look each other in the eye. If that’s too much starting out, perhaps try twice a week. The first few times you try it, it may feel a little clunky, but as you get used to it, it will speed up and you’ll keep everyone aligned with just a few minutes of touching base.
The business of patient care is a team sport, from the front desk through the care managers to the clinician putting hands on the patient, alignment drives success and clear communication drives alignment. By taking the time to make sure everyone understands what success looks like and their role in that success, you can see your practice hit a new level.