Busting the Myth of the ‘Bad Employee’ at Your PT Practice
Written by Jamey Schrier, DPT, Founder and CEO, Practice Freedom U
“I’ve known my staff for a long time. But I feel like I met them for the first time today.”
That’s what a PT owner said about his staff after working with us for less than 90 days.
He’d been struggling for a long time with inconsistent, disappointing results from his team and his overall medical staff management strategy. He was constantly having to hire someone—a new front-desk person, another PT aide, a different billing specialist. Turnover was high, and morale was low.
“My relationship with my staff was pretty tense, and I didn’t know it could be any other way,” this practice owner recalled. There wasn’t much trust between them, and it showed in the clinic’s poor numbers and high turnover.
Let’s face it, who trusts an owner with a revolving door of employees?
So, how did this practice owner start to turn things around and transform his approach to private practice management?
Start to Change Medical Practice Staff Management Techniques
He stopped buying into the myths that:
- His employees only cared about money and not the practice
- No other PT was as good as he was at treating patients
- The only way to build a practice was by working harder and harder
If you’re not seeing the results you want from your practice, your staff is NOT to blame.
According to business management expert W. Edwards Deming, 94% of all business problems are caused by poor systems and not bad people.
As a physician, turn your private practice management and approach around —just like my client did. And, transform your team and business into a profitable, high-energy clinic that delivers results!
Check out today’s video…
The Myth of the Terrible Employee
There is a myth out there. There's a myth out there that says the reason that there are poorly performing employees in your practice right now is because they're not any good. It’s also a myth that says they should be replaced.
It would be so nice if it were just that simple. But, here's what I've learned having gone through, in one year's time, 25 employees. Hired, fired, quit, you name it, 25 of them in one 12-month period.
It Starts With Perception
My business was only seven people, so that's a lot. I'll tell you what I thought it was: I thought it was because they weren't good. They weren't perfect in this way, they weren't perfect in that way, that's what I thought. What I didn’t think was that it had to do with my medical staff management approach. Until something hit me, and I looked back I said could 25 people be wrong—or maybe there was something that I wasn't seeing.
After doing some research I realized it wasn't them. W. Edwards Demming, famous business/organizational guru, he said 94 percent of a company's problem that is not doing, that is not successful is due to bad systems. Basically, there aren't clear expectations and there aren't processes.
So I looked at my own business and asked myself: Was I being clear to my employees? Were the expectations in their position clear? No. Was there a process or system in place and how to achieve and be successful? No. Were my employees supported and mentored and trained? Heck no.
There lies the solution to what’s clearly a breakdown in private practice management: you put in clarity, you put in expectations, you put a process. You provide training, and guess what? Demming was right, your business will turn around.
Taking a New Approach to Medical Practice Management
My business completely turned around. Our retention was better, our productivity was better. What I stopped doing, I stopped believing in the myth. I started to believe that my employees were actually my most important asset. They weren't the problem, they were the solution, I was the problem. “How,” I thought was the problem.
So think about that, are you buying into that myth that your employees are the problem? Because if so there's a 94 percent chance that that's not the case. Instead, it could be time to take a look inward at your private practice management strategy.
One of the easiest ways to boost productivity and enhance your medical practice management is with BetterPT. The BetterPT website and mobile app lets patients book appointments directly with clinics. Join a community of quality clinics and enjoy a boost in patient acquisition as you diminish workload on your end. Our efficient booking platform makes it easier for your staff to schedule, track, and overall enhance the patient experience.
Dr. Jamey Schrier is a physical therapist and founder of Practice Freedom U, which teaches practice owners how to grow and scale their business so they can prosper in and out of the clinic.