Staffing: The Family You Choose - E37
Today we are talking about staff. Let's be honest, they can make our lives super easy or miserable. Interestingly enough, there does not seem to be an in between! All the more reason to put time into perfecting your team.
A note before I get into the details. Make sure you, as the owner, know your vision for the office. Every aspect of hiring and staffing has to align with your vision. If you get the staff wrong, you are going to be hard pressed to make your vision a reality.
How many should I hire and what do I pay them?
In simplest terms, I like to say for every 150k of gross you should have one full-time employee. To be more specific you want your payroll to be 25% of your gross income. That is a rough and dirty estimate and will vary depending on if you are highly medical or more optically based in regards to income. The more medical, the higher payroll tends to be. That being said, you can determine how many employees and what their wages should be based on the above.
To further evaluate your staff and payroll consider your cost of goods sold (COGS). The more optically oriented you are the higher your COGS will be, so:
payroll % of gross + COGS % of gross = 50%.
This will give you leeway depending on the source of your income (medical = higher payroll% and optical = higher COGS %).
As a side note if you have a higher COGS % than you want, you may want to re-evaluate your markup on materials.
What Should they be able to do?
You need to have a minimum level of competency for your staff. If a person is hired and they can do nothing more than these skills, they would still be a valuable functional member of your team. If this is not the case you need to adjust your minimums.
Once you have established that, your staff wants clear, defined roles with transparent expectations. This will help them be focused and more productive. They will not step on each other's toes and you will be able to evaluate where you need more help/who is not living up to expectations. Obviously, the smaller the office, the harder it is to specialize and more cross training is necessary.
As you grow, make it a goal to get more specialized.
Can they Grow with the office?
The higher the ceiling of each staff member the more you are going to be able to delegate. This will ultimately leave you more time to focus on being the CEO and growing the practice. Hire the most talented people you can and you will be amazed at the things you can accomplish.
Are they Available?
The caveat to talent and skill is availability. If they can not work when you are open, are convenient for patients, or when your vision is for your work life balance, do not hire them. This is the most overlooked aspect of your staff that I believe affects the ability to grow and owner happiness. Make sure your staff is available and reliable, otherwise move on and find someone that fits your vision.
At the end of the day, your staff is the family that you get to choose. Not everyone will be nor do you want them to be just like you, but they have to be good people. Life is too short to spend so much time with people you do not like or are hard to work with. Save yourself and the rest of the staff the pain of tolerating a bad apple, and hire good people and do whatever you can to keep them happy!
Happy staffing my friends!
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