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    How to train, retain great staff

     

    Cross-training new hires

    It is important for staff members, regardless of their position or primary function in the practice, to understand how the front and back office operate. The front reception area is the gateway to the practice, whether by phone or in-person conversation. Our new hires at Art of Skin MD all spend time during their orientation period at the front desk. Reciprocally, new front desk staff spends time in the back office observing all the procedures that I perform.

    Vince Bertucci, M.D., director of Bertucci Medspa in Woodbridge, Ontario, employs a similar approach in training front-reception staff.

    “Our new front desk office employees are first asked to review all patient information documents, then shadow staff in most parts of the clinic,” he says. “New employees observe staff for days to weeks, and develop their new role under direct supervision, increasing their independence as skills increase.”

    Grooming new hires with great potential for long-term employment requires opportunities for growth and acknowledgement. To some extent “you get what you pay for,” meaning high-quality new hires often require appropriate wage compensation. The likelihood of employees to remain with you, however, increases dramatically if they are respected and can contribute. Loyalty is built when employees feel appreciated, that their opinions matter, and that their ideas may help shape the growth of the practice. 

    “We thank staff members at the monthly office meetings for doing something outstanding,” Dr. Jacob says. Dr. Comstock echoes this method of recognition and reinforces exemplary work on the spot. “We try to ‘catch’ and acknowledge great work daily directly to the staff member,” says Dr. Comstock, who adds notes of these instances in personnel files.

    Next: Evaluating, rewarding employees

    Palm-Melanie90x90.jpg
    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., M.B.A.
    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., is director of Art of Skin MD in Solana Beach, Calif. Visit her at http://www.artofskinmd.com

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