The summer months can be some of the most challenging for a medical group in terms of patient satisfaction and new patient attraction. It’s the balance of vacations, the temptation of outdoor fun, and family commitments from both the employees as well as the patients. There can be gaps in the schedules, last minute cancellations and an office that is short-staffed.
An all-too-common mistake is abandoning process. Help each member of your medical group stay focused and not lose ground during the summer months. The offices that see summer as a slow-down period lose ground in the fall months.
When trying to keep your team on task, remind them of what has been successful in the past and add some of these behaviors to keep things fresh.
- Manage the behaviors, not the outcomes. Set monthly goals for the team and have a plan for accomplishing them. Revisit weekly as a team or individually to check on progress. Read: “Have You Created a Culture in your Medical Practice That Works?”
- Work on goal time, not clock time. Focus on accomplishing tasks rather than simply filling the hours of 8 to 5.
- Have your team connect with referral partners. Use the summer to build relationships with existing contacts or those in your network that can refer you all year long. Offer to do the same for them. I know of one specialist that schedules 1 day a week to take referral partners to coffee or lunch.
- Run a “summer motivation” contest. Your team will stay motivated by some “friendly” competition with the incentive of a weekend getaway or a meal at a favorite restaurant.
- Celebrate “Wins” with a team field trip. Celebrating together lets employees bond and share unifying experiences. Take an afternoon off and go mini-golfing as a team or treat them to a long Friday lunch at a nice restaurant.
- Provide access to additional knowledge and tools. Look for CME conferences in destination locations or local speaking events. Sandler training offers many options for providing resources to medical groups including customer service training.
Use any or all of these 6 suggestions to keep the summer months from becoming the summer slump. Comment below on what ways you find that helps your medical group to stay on track for the rest of the year.
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