Optometric Management Tip # 523   -   Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Sending Staff to Conferences

I think eye care professionals (ECPs) who don't often make an effort to send staff members to educational meetings are missing a big opportunity to make their practices stronger and larger. Let's explore the issues involved in developing a program for staff training at eye care conferences.

Why send staff?
There are some big benefits for your practice if your staff attends meetings and obtains specialized training courses:

What are the costs?
Sending staff members to conferences can seem expensive, but it is really not that bad when you consider the benefits to the practice.

Office policy
It is best to develop a written office policy for staff continuing education and travel to avoid some staff members feeling like the arrangements are not fair. Like any office policy you can and should put your own spin on what you want to offer, but here is my office policy to get your started thinking. You may need a different policy for salaried employees compared to hourly.

Meeting venues
All the various conferences have some merit and advantages. Be open to trying different types of meetings.

Evaluate your philosophy for staff education and consider how your practice can benefit from encouraging staff to go to meetings outside of the office.

Best wishes for continued success,

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