Constructive criticism…productive conflict…expressive freedom…valuable unconformity…open communication…
Does your ophthalmology practice foster an environment of healthy conflict? If your staff, your physicians and your management team are always in agreement, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow and improve your patient experience. In fact, it may be helpful to shake things up a little in your practice – not just for the sake of creating waves in your practice – but to influence positive change.
Every person within your ophthalmology practice has their own set of ideas, beliefs, personality traits and experiences that can lend a new approach or viewpoint to any type of situation. If your business model is to let one or two of your staff make every decision in a vacuum, without drawing from the intellects of others within your organization (and allowing them to speak their minds), the growth of your practice might stagnate.
The Human Resources Role
There was a specific reason why your human resources department hired each and every one of your staff. Of course, each employee is unique, but they all had something that you felt would serve as an asset to your practice. For example, you may have hired a surgical counselor who is outgoing and likable, a physician who had worked at three different practices across the country and a technician who is introverted but amazingly creative. All of these personality types can bring something different to the table when it comes to collaboration of ideas to improve patient experiences.
By encouraging all of your staff (not just the outspoken few) to openly share their ideas, speak up if they disagree with a method or colleague and think outside the box, your practice could drastically change. Encouraging your staff to engage in productive conflict could produce wonderful results. Your human resources department will have an important role in managing this type of office culture while also balancing the delicate issues of political correctness.
Foster the Environment with Trust
If you move forward with this type of open communication environment, your employees must trust that they can speak their minds with full support from management and other employees. This is not to say that one person can verbally attack another or talk behind each other’s backs. This should be an open forum that is collaborative and supportive – offering a 360-degree view of problems and possible solutions. Again, your human resources department will be vital for keeping communications productive.
Ask Questions Regularly
As stated earlier, shaking things up can lead to major improvements. Rather than settling for the status quo, you may need to solicit feedback from your staff in order to spark conversations. Examples include:
- What can we do to improve patient satisfaction?
- If you were in charge, what internal changes would you make?
- How are you feeling about your co-workers?
- What is one thing we could improve at our practice?
When you receive honest answers from your staff, provide honest feedback so they realize that you are taking their comments seriously – that you respect their opinions. It may take time to move from feedback to communication to action, but even baby steps can be productive. Your management team or human resources department can keep this ball rolling.
Need Human Resources Help for Your Ophthalmology Practice?
Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, has helped hundreds of ophthalmology practices across the country develop their human resources departments as well as hire the right type of individuals to provide outstanding patient care and support. In addition, we have developed the Administrative Advantage MSO®, a Management Services Organization that allows practices of all sizes to save money on external recruitment services. Whether you need to hire an interim CEO, an ophthalmology specialist, a technician or a front desk person, the companies we have added to our MSO have a strong track record of identifying excellent candidates. They can help recruit candidates that will be an asset not only to the technical side of your practice but also the creative side. Best of all, by joining our MSO, you will instantly save on these services and much more to cost-effectively run your practice every day.
To learn more about how Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, can help with HR recruitment for your ophthalmology practice, contact us today.