Cold Start: Training New Staff - E15
About 3 years after I opened my first office, I had the brilliant idea to open a second office. I did not, however; hire a second doctor. This turned out to be an awful decision as I was trying to be in two places at once, had twice the staff to manage, and twice the overhead! You live and learn I suppose, but one of the best things that came out of this was learning how to train a completely new staff in a short period of time.
My staff more than doubled and the majority were part-time and in all reality there was not a single leader in the bunch. I had to get them up to speed and fast! Here are some simple steps you can take to make this happen.
The Notebook Method
You are the easy button. The easiest way to get an answer is by asking you. This will drain you and not allow them to grow. I realized this quite quickly and instituted a notebook policy. Every staff member was given a notebook and any question they asked over the course of a day was written in the notebook. AT the end of the day, everyone wrote down all the questions and answers. No questions were allowed to be asked twice and after a week, they stopped bothering me and referenced the notebook for the majority of questions that came up.
Teach to Learn
They also struggled with routine things such as dispensing glasses, making appointments, and cheing in frames. There was no structure or consistency. I fixed this by assigning everyone a task that they had to present and teach to the office. I gave them a week to figure it out and then we had a “meeting” or training session that was mandatory and would last as long as it would take to get through it all. Before presenting at the meeting, they had to present to me. This helped me iron out inconsistencies and make the processes what I wanted. To make sure the oter staff paid attention, they were told that they would be responsible for recreating the presentation at the next meeting. Now i never followed through with that second part, but it definitely got their attention when the presentations were happening.
Identify and Develop Leaders
In episode 14 and 15 I outlined the 5 traits to look for in leaders and the 5 steps you need to take to develop these people to manage, lead, and run your office. You need to find and coach these staff members up!
Learn from my mistakes and make it happen!
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