Getting Your Staff on the Same Page


This article is a continuation of Critical Practice Foundations. If you haven’t done so yet, we recommend reading the first article to get a better context.

The Staff Meeting

One very important activity you, as the owner, should implement is a regular staff meeting with all of your personnel. This provides regular communication with all of the staff and enables any questions to be addressed in a forum that allows for coordination.

Highlighted below are basic policies for conducting a staff meeting and what the purpose of having a staff meeting is.

Purpose: To provide a predictable time for the entire staff to come together to communicate, focus, plan and coordinate as a team. Staff meetings should be quick, upbeat and productive.

Staff Meeting Policies:

  1. Staff meetings are mandatory. They are the only time during the week when the entire staff can get together as a team to coordinate on important matters.
  2. Designate a specific day and time that staff meetings will be held. The end of the week that just ended or the first part of the new week are the best times.
  3. The office manager (or owner) would run the staff meeting.
  4. Staff meetings will run for about a half hour unless stated otherwise, in which case the staff will be notified in advance.
  5. If the staff meeting is going to be during lunch, make sure that the staff bring their lunch or has arranged for their lunch to be there on time. If the practice is going to pay for lunch, keep the cost low and the choices simple. Appoint someone to be in charge of getting the lunches there on time.
  6. All staff should come to the meeting prepared to report on their area.
  7. Topics of a serious (personal or individual) nature will not be taken up at the staff meeting. Rather, it will be addressed in a private conference with the appropriate staff members.
  8. All staff are expected to participate in the meeting, even if that simply means to politely listen whenever anyone else is talking or presenting material.
  9. Someone will be assigned to keep notes of the meeting and will submit those notes to the office manager each week.

Preparation for the Meeting:

  1. To plan the format ahead of time, the office manager will meet with the owner to determine any special topics that he/she, as the CEO, would like the office manager to cover.
  2. The office manager will have the graphs posted for the major practice areas (production, collections, new patients) and ready to present to the staff.
  3. The office manager will prepare any handouts, e.g., new policies, educational materials, etc. that are intended for staff distribution.
  4. The office manager will look over the notes from the last week’s staff meeting to determine if there is anything that needs to be followed up on from that meeting.
  5. Delegate someone to turn on the answering machine (or service), indicating the time frame that your office will be closed.
  6. The office manager should ensure that the receptionist has gotten the last of the patients checked out and give her a hand if need be (or delegate another staff member to assist her).
  7. Lunch should be ready to go.

Basic Format

  1. Referring to notes from the previous last week’s meeting, the office manager will address anything that is appropriate.
  2. The office manager will go over the graphs, stats and the plan of action based upon the stats, using this time as an opportunity to train the staff a bit more on what the graphs are all about.
    1. When going over the stats, the office manager should get the staff to participate, eliciting their input on how they think things can be improved and strengthened.
    2. Determine if the graphs that are being discussed met the goals that had been set and determine what the new goals will be.
  3. Have the staff members show their personal graphs and discuss what the appropriate actions, based upon those graphs, would be for the upcoming week.
  4. Discuss any future plans that the practice may have. Keep it brief.
  5. Go over any promotional activities that are active or in the planning stages.
  6. Make any announcements that are appropriate for all staff to be notified of.
  7. If it appears that more time will be needed to go over any particular issues, let the staff know that you will plan a longer staff meeting within the next week or two and that you will notify them of that schedule change in advance.
  8. Allow time for the doctor (both as doctor and as owner) to address the staff on any issues he/she deems pertinent for the weekly staff meeting.


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