Recently I was chatting with a clinic owner in Ontario (before the christmas break) who’d hit his goal to have a $1 million clinic. His clinic revenue had been growing 20% a year for the past 3 years- then suddenly his revenue flat lined.
I asked him what had happened? Was it the economy?
Nope. He told me he’d made ONE bad hire that turned the clinic’s culture on its head. I realized he didn’t understand that there are 4 types of employees. Like 99% of clinic owners, he had hired the type of employee he thought he should hire, not the type he needed.
The wrong type of employee will lower the morale of all your staff and cause a downfall in productivity and less focus on the patient experience. That will repel patients from the clinic.
You definitely don’t want them at your front desk answering phones and greeting patients.
When hiring someone for your clinic, you have to understand what type of employee they are. There are only 4 types of employees. Understanding this principle will prevent costly hiring mistakes and give you the Midas touch for finding the right person for your position consistently.
The first type is what I like to call a "Homer".
Low performance, Low culture
This is the type of person who just wants a job. They just want to get by, make a living, and pay the bills. Nothing else. They want to do the bare minimum they have to do to keep their job and that's it. This type of employee can bring down morale in the rest of your employees. They are low on both culture fit and performance.
Many people think a lot of millennials fall into the Homer employee category. Some do but most don’t. While they may seem to have one foot in and one foot out the door it’s really because clinic owners don’t understand this one important distinction: millennials don’t just want financial rewards - they want to feel like they are part of something. If you understand this you can turn them into the best type of employee for your clinic. I’ll share how in a sec...
The next type of employee is the "Mercenary".
High performance, Low culture
They just work for the money. Whenever there is a better opportunity to make more money they'll take it in an instant. This is the type many clinic owners hire because they have an impressive resume (or experience) and get good results. However, they are low on culture fit.
When I owned my clinics I had many of these types of employees in the beginning because I thought their resume was impressive. I had no idea how one employee can turn your culture upside down and stunt clinic growth.
It wasn’t until I started hiring the "4th type of employee" when my clinics’ productivity and revenues skyrocketed - without me having to always be there.
The 3rd type of employee the “Patriot”.
Low performance, High culture
This is the second best type of employee but many clinic owners think they shouldn’t hire them. Why? Because, although they are a good culture fit, their performance is low. This is a hard decision for many clinic owners. You still should keep or hire them because you can train them to become high-performance employees. All skills are learnable but you can’t teach culture fit. They either have it or they don’t.
And the fourth type of employee is called the "The Champion"
High performance, High culture
This is the best type of employee. The Champion wants to make good money but is not just working for the money. Money doesn't drive them. They are motivated by purpose and mission. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. This type of employee can take your clinic from good to great. They can give you a huge edge over your competitors. This is the type of employee you want your clinic to be made of. You find them by asking the right questions.
Once you have or find the Champion, how do you keep them?
In order to attract and keep the Champion, you have to have a compelling mission for your company. You also have to know how to reward them.
First, let’s talk about mission. The Champion wants to feel like they are a part of something big. An example of this would be this vision statement from a clinic owner I’m mentoring now.
The vision for 2022: to impact 30,000 lives; to help patients avoid medication and surgery; AND to donate $100,000 to a specific charity (a women's transition house).That’s exciting to be part of, plus the charitable goal is very powerful for both motivating staff and building the clinic’s reputation as a community leader (a strong marketing tool).
Having a powerful vision picks your staff up on Monday mornings and will move them through difficult times.
Once you have a compelling vision, have a plan for rewarding the Champions so they don’t leave. After spending time and effort trying to find them, you don’t want to lose them.
Rewards don’t have to be expensive and many can be free. In fact, they can be just as effective (or more so) as expensive ones when done right.
For example, recognition is free and is one of the most powerful types of rewards.
In fact, studies show 67% of employees say recognition is a top motivator and companies who do it regularly get 21% more productivity from their staff.
And, according to CareerBuilder, 50% of employees would stay if they were just recognized. According to Forbes, 76% of millennials will leave if they feel unappreciated.
That’s why it’s essential to recognize employees. It can be as simple as writing a handwritten note and placing it on their desk. Other ways to recognize staff include:
1.) Giving them the rest of the day off or a later start time for doing such a great job;
2.) Bring them their favourite breakfast treat or dessert;
3) Pay for their bus pass, gym membership, or Costco membership; and -
3.) Start having High Five Fridays – this is one we implement every Friday at CSC.
It’s also very important to onboard new staff the right way to ensure they’re successful at your clinic. Most clinics owners get this wrong.
Here’s an onboarding process I’ve found to be very effective at getting new staff up to speed in the fastest time possible.
1.) Have an onboarding agenda for their first two weeks so they know what to expect and who will be helping and training them.
2.) When they arrive, give them a Birthday Gift. We give balloons, expensive wine, a 5-minute journal, a branded T-shirt, and my favourite book. This will leave a lasting impression and will more than likely be the first time they’ve ever experienced this.
3.) Take them to their favourite restaurant for lunch and then begin their training on your culture, vision, and purpose.
4.) Tell them what you expect from them: their responsibilities, which meetings they have to attend, and how you measure success every week. For example, with front desk staff, the two important things you measure every week are the booking rate and the answer rate.
5.) Role play over and over again. For example, role play how to handle patient questions on the phone, how to answer the phone the right way, how to recommend appointment times, what to say when your books are filled, etc. There are examples of these in my FREE guide "23 Secrets to Booking Even More Patients over the Phone.”
There you have it. Next time you’re hiring, try to gauge what type of employee they might be. If you currently have two of the wrong type of employee, the type you should avoid, it would be a good idea to let them go as soon as possible. Take more time to find the right fit.
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