As you take steps to re-start your practice, your staff is most certainly operating differently than they were pre-pandemic. Maybe some of your team is still working from home. Your clinical staff might be doing some combination of telehealth and in-person patient visits. You may not yet have brought everybody back—or maybe you find yourself needing to hire new people to replace others who aren’t returning. (The recent upswing in job numbers—a surprising decline in the national unemployment rate—suggests a lot of business owners are in hiring mode.)
One thing that is certain? Teams are adapting to a lot right now: new protocols and processes, new regulations and restrictions, new schedules and routines for workflow.
The coronavirus pandemic has put every aspect of our practice management under an intense stress test—and that includes how our teams operate. Some teams have thrived, others have struggled. Most, I think, have done some of both.
We all know accountability is essential to team productivity, and ultimately to the success of your practice. We’re utilizing our teams differently now, but the fundamentals of successful team management remain the same. Right now isn’t the time to shrink back from thinking about how to strengthen teamwork. Teams need more than to have communication and accountability get pushed aside just to make it through another day.
As we begin to reclaim our practice activity and chart our way forward, the stakes are just too high to operate in survival mode, when it comes to cohesion, focus, and accountability. Why?
Accountability increases compliance at every level of practice operations. Practices need that more than ever right now.
Accountability enhances individual performance. It also helps to grow a practice culture that makes great employees want to stick with you—and attracts top talent.
By increasing productivity at the same time it reduces errors and oversights, accountability makes your business more profitable.
This all makes your business more crisis-proof, better able to weather the next wave of the pandemic, or whatever else is lurking around the corner in this unpredictable world of ours.
So, how do you get it? And why is NOW the time to dig deep to achieve new levels of accountability with your team?
You know your team needs clear expectations for every one of their roles. And they need systems and tools (in-person and virtual) to stay connected and in sync. Your team needs something else, too. It’s the secret sauce for accountability that can only come from YOU, the practice owner:
In conversations about accountability in the business world, you’ll hear a lot of how accountability breeds trust in teams. That’s true. Trust flourishes when team members see one another—and you—taking responsibility for actions, owning mistakes rather than blaming others, supporting and celebrating the work of others.
But it’s also true that trust breeds accountability. When employees know they have your trust to take the lead in running your practice, they’re inspired to step up, go beyond baseline expectations, work more diligently and more collaboratively to achieve the highest results. Your trust in your team is a powerful way to give them a form of ownership in your fundamental practice mission.
Trusting your team makes accountability thrive in practice cultures. It frees you from the tedious, time-consuming, and counterproductive trap of micromanaging your staff. And it liberates you, the practice owner, from the constant need to be hands-on, all the time, in the day-to-day operations of your business.
As you bring your team back and begin to adapt to the new ways of running a successful practice in the coronavirus era (and beyond), give them your trust. Give your staff the tools and systems they need to be accountable for their work, and let them take the lead. Your practice will operate more safely, productively, and profitably.
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By Jamey Schrier
PT, Founder & CEO, Practice Freedom U
June 11, 2020
5 minute read