Does your office conduct training for new hires? Not just the “here’s what you’ll be doing and how to do it” training; but the “here’s how we expect you to act and thrive in our culture” training?
Nothing can be harder than getting thrown into a new role without fully understanding expectations. Properly training employees helps:
- Manage expectations
- Increase efficiency
- Improve outcomes
Training shouldn’t be reserved for new hires exclusively. The doctor and clinical staff are often pursuing additional training like CME credits throughout the year, but your administrative and support staff are sometimes overlooked.
Here’s 3 essential medical office employee training initiatives that are low-cost and will pay off big:
1. Customer Service Training
Overall patient experience is one of the most critical factors contributing to your practice’s bottom line. More than 75% of your patient interactions are with support staff and not one-on-one with a clinician or physician.
Establishing regular customer service training for your staff can be the difference between satisfied patients and dissatisfied ones. And, properly training your staff as to why and how the patient experience effects your practice will help lead to necessary buy-in by employees.
Training doesn’t need to be formal and boring.
- Make it fun
- Intertwine it with day-to-day operations
- Create a contest
- Recognize exceptional customer service
2. Social Media Training
Although most practices don’t allow employees to have access to social media on their computers (heck, some don’t even provide email to employees), more often than not, your employees are still looking at their social accounts on their mobile phone (we know, this couldnever be the case in your office).
Rather than fight it, consider embracing it.
A few years back, we had an orthopaedic client who decided to enter a local social media contest. It was called ‘Social Media Madness’. And yes, it was madness. Our client won the local contest (they’re in a major local media market so it was no small feat) and we went on to place 8th nationally. We learned a ton about social engagement including what worked and what didn’t.
During the heat of the contest when it was neck to neck with some big players, one thing was extremely clear: Employee engagement was our differentiator. The practice has over 150 employees and their reach on social media and their buy-in and highly competitive enthusiasm for winning this contest gave us the extra momentum we needed to win.
Every day, we would encourage employees to:
- Check-in on their smart phone (boom, that gave us huge reach socially)
- Like and share photos (another boom, that gave us tons of brand reach)
- Share ideas (ideas can be hard to come by, so this was very helpful)
The point is, employee engagement was the game changer. Plus, it created a positive energy throughout the practice and engaged everybody in the process.
3. Sales Training
Your employees don’t sell anything, so why offer them sales training?
Because training employees in sales will help you become profitable.
Sure, we’d all like to think that our practice doesn’t ‘sell’ anything but with the squeeze on healthcare profitability, that’s just not the case.
Ancillary services and products are now a part of every smart practice and your employees need to fully understand how to sell them.
- An ortho practice might offer in-house MRI and physical therapy, DME products and even items like orthopaedic flip-flops
- We work with a board certified ophthalmologist who also offers laser hair removal, injectables, medical grade skin peels and full spa services
- Chiropractors sometimes offer monthly wellness plans, spa services and even skin care products.
- An ENT practice might offer adult and pediatric services and even facial cosmetic and reconstruction
The fact is, everybody is selling something and it’s important that your staff understand this and have the necessary training (not just how to sell, but you should train them on what you offer and how the products work as well).
By Jennifer Thompson
Jennifer Thompson is co-founder and chief strategist for DrMarketingTips.com, a website designed to help medical marketing professionals market their practice easier, faster and better.