BUSINESS: personnel pointers
Follow the Leader
Five tips to inspire your team.
TRUDI CHAREST, RO, ABO
Have you ever wondered what makes some businesses so successful? It really does start with the leader. Leaders form the center of the practice where everything begins and ends.
An inspired team is a successful team. So, if you want to grow your optometry business, grow your team first. Here’s how:
1 Smile and laugh.
Happiness is contagious. If you’re having fun, chances are your team will, too. Are your team members happy? Do they enjoy working with one another? A good leader finds opportunities to ensure the team is playing together instead of just working together. For example, celebrating team member birthdays or holding an office potluck are great ways to build camaraderie. Remember, teams that play together, stay together.
2 Show respect and be helpful.
Teams with respectful and helpful leaders, in turn, support and help each other. They know when others require an extra hand or a shoulder to cry on.
When both respect and support are prevalent in an office setting, there is immediate teamwork, and teamwork breeds productivity. The team usually learns this from a respectful and helpful leader, so lead by example.
3 Have a great attitude.
Employees inspired by their leaders have great attitudes; it shows in all their work, including dealing with patients every day. They handle busy days and angry patients better when they come to work with an attitude of service and willingness to help. When they feel valued and noticed, they are inspired to take on more with little or no initiative.
4 Motivate and inform.
Teams and individual employees bring more to the table, in terms of creativity, innovation and initiative, when they feel uplifted and involved. Be there for them, and involve them in your vision and mission of the practice.
For example, if you want to increase the number of exams your practice performs each day, hold a brainstorming session with your team to generate ideas on how to accomplish your goal.
Employees often have an endless supply of ideas to assist you in developing your business and keeping your patients satisfied. If you can inspire their passions, you will tap into a wealth of potential in your employees.
5 Reward good behavior.
Treat your employees well. Praise them when they do things right, and redirect them when things go wrong. Find ways every day to let them know how important they are to you and your practice. Leave them notes, take them out for lunch for no reason, and throw a staff party. Rewarding good behavior inspires them to keep up the good work.
If you want inspired employees, more sales and happier patients, become a better leader. Leadership and managing a business with employees does not come naturally to everyone. Being effective requires extra leadership skills to inspire your employees. But once inspired, employees become more loyal and work more effectively. OM
Optometric Management, Volume: 49 , Issue: July 2014, page(s): 51