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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Five bonus tips from our readers

1. One manager sets a positive theme for each staff meeting and lists it at the top of the agenda. Staff spend the last 15 minutes of the meeting discussing it. The theme can be anything. At one meeting it was Do you really know what this person is doing? Then each staffer explained her duties to the group. Sometimes the theme is used to correct a problem without hitting people over the head. If staffers are entering data incorrectly, for example, the manager goes over the right way to do the job and asks for suggestions for making it easier. At one meeting, the theme was teamwork and each person had to write positive comments about one or more other staffers. The comments were submitted anonymously and the manager read them aloud.

2. Another manager divides her staff into small groups and makes each one responsible for overseeing costs in a specific area. One group oversees the medical supplies, another the office supplies, another the telephone bill, and so on. The group leader checks the bills that come in and the members then discuss it and look for ways to reduce costs. Having a hand in the actual operations helps staff understand the big picture and work as professionals, the manager says.

3. In one office, a staff committee does whatever it believes will improve morale and encourage teamwork. Each quarter, it focuses on an area it wants to change. One problem was sour attitudes so, without telling anybody, group members started putting chocolates on the desks of staffers who did extra things and lemon drops on the desks of those who were sour. Pretty soon, everybody got the message.

4. In another office, the doctor attends staff meetings several times a year and explains one of the medical procedures the office performs. Besides helping clerical staff learn about the clinical side of the office, the doctor’s efforts illustrate a sincere interest in the staff and a bond has developed as a result.

5. Finally, one manager ended unnecessary complaints by putting a complaint form outside her door. It asks for the date, a description of the problem, and a recommended solution. Forcing staff to put their complaints in writing makes them realize when a problem isn’t worth the manager’s time. And coming up with a proposed solution makes them realize they should think it through rather than just dump an issue on the manager.


Related reading:

5 purchasing tips that can save money for your medical practice


A six-question oral survey can help the manager and improve morale


The surprising answer to what your staff really wants


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