Staffing. Seems easy enough, right? Hire good people to do good work and you’re all set! If you agree with this, then you are most definitely a new owner, or you are opening up your first practice. However, if you’ve been running one for any amount of time, you know that it’s never that simple. Ever hear the expression “square peg, round hole”? When it comes to problems with staffing, I think of it more as “right person, wrong seat”.
Who do you have sitting in which seat? Say you hire somebody for an administrative role. There’s always a learning curve, but after a few weeks, they’re still making administrative mistakes. Customers, however, seem to love her, and your opticians can depend on her in a pinch to answer phones or show frames. You have the right person in the wrong seat. Many times, it’s worth investing in training this person for a different role. They’ve already developed some kind of a rapport with both your patients and staff, whereas if you decide to terminate, you have to start fresh and may not find someone who fits in or represents your core values as well as the right person you had in the wrong seat.
At GPN Technologies, we hired someone for business development, but as it turned out she didn’t much like to travel and found the job quite stressful. She was a great communicator and was excellent at implementing and executing new ideas and plans. Rather than let her leave us, we offered her a more comfortable seat that better suited her skill set. She is currently our Director of Customer Care and couldn’t be doing a better job!
By changing her chair from administrative and detail-oriented to something more forward-facing, you’ve not only helped someone stumble upon something they’re better at, but you’ve contributed to the cultivation of a healthy work environment.
When employees are happy and secure in their seats, your practice will run more smoothly—guaranteed.
Evan Kestenbaum, MBA is the co-founder and COO of GPN Technologies, the landmark company that created EDGEPro. Evan’s entrepreneurial expertise and his focus on continuous improvement were vital in the development and success of EDGEPro, which has revolutionized analytics and business intelligence for ophthalmic professionals. Evan has also been deeply engaged in coaching and dispensary management for hundreds of practices during the past 10 years. He is the co-owner of Optix Family Eyecare in New York, one of Long Island’s largest Optometry practices. In his free time, Evan enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. For questions or comments about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.