In my current role as a health business consultant and educator I continually see the difference between great health businesses and those that are always going to struggle to stay afloat. There are many factors that contribute to business success or failure, but there is a main one that sticks out in my mind.
Tolerating poor team member performance.
I know I'm going to get messages from angry team members, but if there is one recurring topic amongst my private clients, it relates to team members not doing the tasks they were meant to do – to the standard they are meant to be done.
Typical examples of this failure to comply include:
- Not using the correct script when making follow up appointments.
- Not completing the written report all new patients are meant to receive at the end of each initial consultation.
- Not mentioning or suggesting that the client buy the product they need to get the best outcome.
- Failing to complete the daily task checklist you spent weeks developing.
- Not making the follow up phone calls they were supposed to make each week to help ensure their books are full the following week.
I even have clients who complain that their team members do not submit their weekly time sheets on time – so the owner has to chase them up in order to pay wages. I am sure you can add a thousand instances to this list, but these are just some of what I have heard. I firmly believe that failure to correctly outline and enforce the systems and procedures you want completed in your clinic is one of the main indicators of a health business failure.
So what do you do about it.
To be blunt, there is only one solution – are you ready for it? Fire the poor performers. Jack Welch – former head of GE – was a fan of employee churn. He consistently fired the poorest performing 20% of his workforce each and every year. A somewhat brutal philosophy – but I can guarantee you this led to much better compliance and productivity from his team members.
Too many health business owners are scared to upset their team members, don’t want to be seen as the bad guy, or are simply terrified that their current team members will leave. This is not a great way to run a business – in fear of your team members. This lack of control and feeling of fear only leads to the situation where you, the owner, feel like you are the employee – and not in charge of the business at all.
Put in systems and protocols that allow you, the business owner, to regain control of your team. These systems must be enforced and poor performing team members should be first reprimanded. If there are no improvements, show them the door.
YOU are the owner and YOU decide how things are done in your business – end of story. I encourage all health business owners to stand up to your team and demand strict compliance with your systems and procedures. Failure to do this is guaranteed to leave you in a world of pain. I wish you well in your health business.