Optometric Management Tip # 352   -   Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Some Thoughts on Staff Meetings

The most important consideration for staff meetings is that they actually happen and often! My preference is for weekly meetings but I find that many practices don't hold them that frequently. Indeed, many practices hardly ever have staff meetings! I think that's a mistake because so much of practice success can be traced back to staff issues.

To build the successful practice, we need a staff that is top notch in all aspects of the job, from the technical aspects to customer service. I've yet to see a staff that is perfect and staff meetings are a key factor in bringing employees to a higher level of performance. An important role of the practice owner, doctor and manager is to continually lead, inspire and train staff members. Over time, the improvement is obvious and dramatic.

How to start

I like to keep things simple to increase the likelihood that the meetings will occur every week. Keeping things simple also reduces any perception that the meeting is formal and intimidating. The casual approach makes employees more comfortable and willing to speak up.

Start by blocking out the appointment schedule for the meeting on the same day and time every week for months in advance. I prefer to hold meetings during normal business hours because I don't like to ask employees to come early or stay late. I don't want the tone of the meeting to be such that employees are doing me a favor by attending. Of course, employees are paid for their time spent in the meeting. Once the schedule is blocked from appointments, the meetings are likely occur.

It doesn't matter if you have one employee or 50, weekly staff meetings are critical for success.

There is no one right way to manage a staff meeting so just do what comes naturally and feels right. Here are some ideas to consider.

When to hold the meeting

Who attends and who does what?

What to talk about

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management