How to empower your team to succeed with this 3-step system

Imagine with me for a minute.

You’re a zookeeper and you’re given the challenge of moving Peanut, the biggest, crankiest elephant, to her new pen.

You pull on your leather gloves, step into Peanut’s enclosure, and the leash to her harness. And you start to pull.

You pull and you pull with all your might…and she takes two steps. You take a deep breath in, grit your teeth, and pull again. Harder, this time. She moves another two steps. You wipe the sweat off your brow, really put your back into it, and yank as Peanut takes ten steps forward.

Victory! you think. That is, until you turn around and see that the new pen is still about a thousand steps away. 

When you’re the only one in your practice setting and achieving goals, it’s kind of like this elephant situation. But when you bring your team into the process, the challenge becomes a whole lot easier.

Motivating your team to reach certain goals makes incredible things happen. I have a three-step system to help your team set and achieve goals in a simple and fun way.

Step 1. Get clear.business-idea-1240834_1280

Step 2. Make your team want to succeed.

Step 3. Reset the goalposts.

You invest so much time in hiring the right team, so it’s well worth the effort to bring them into your goal-achieving process. Let’s break each step down…

Step 1. Get clear.

The first thing you need to do is pick your key performance indicators, or KPIs. These are the numbers that signify success. These numbers may be different for different departments. For example, the billing department may focus on the percentage of claims paid within 30 days, the marketing team on new patient numbers, and the front desk on returning patient ratios.

Next, define what your minimum acceptable value is for each KPI. This should be something your team can easily achieve. For a simple way to define this number, calculate the average value over the last 4-6 months. You can combine this with financial necessities. If you need 80 patient visits per month to make end’s meat but your average is 65, you can make the minimum 80.

For your goal value, go a few clicks higher. 10-15% is a good increase to start with.

The most important thing is to make sure these numbers are clearly communicated with your staff! Chart them on a white board or poster somewhere in your office. Most team members are excited to work towards a goal, but they need to understand what numbers they’re aiming for.

Step 2. Make your team want to succeed.

It would be much more effective to tempt Peanut with a bunch of carrots than to throw your back out dragging her across the zoo. It’s the same with your staff. Incentives reward their efforts when they’re improving their metrics. This affects their job quality and turns working towards goals into a joy, rather than a stress.

I recommend using three levels of incentives to reward your team for achieving a monthly goal.

The first month they reach their goal KPI, give them something small to celebrate. This could be a gas card, a gift certificate to their favorite boutique, or a daily Starbucks drink of their choice for a week.

When they reach their monthly goal a second time, reward them with something a little larger. Gift them a massage at a local spa or a gift card for dinner and a movie with their partner.

The third month, bring the rest of the team in on their success. We had a practice — and I loved that they did this! — that gave away awards. They ordered a special “goal achiever” statue that the winner proudly displayed it on their desk all month long. The team really got into it, it was like winning the Heisman Trophy! Another idea is to throw a pizza party to celebrate the third month of an employee hitting their goal number.

We have a provider who gave away a week of his time share in Disney when a team member hit a really big goal for their third month. And never underestimate the value of genuine appreciation. Gifts are always fun and exciting but make sure to publicly acknowledge how much you value your employee’s contribution as well.refugees-1020266_1920

Step 3. Reset the goalposts.

Every three months, take a look at how your various staff members are doing. Make sure they feel good about their individual performance and aren’t feeling pushed too hard.

Then, reassess. When someone’s easily able to achieve the goal three times, it’s time for a higher goal. The same goes the other way. If someone’s consistently not reaching their goal, it’s time to bring it down a notch. You want working towards their goal to be a positive experience, not a frustrating one.

Go back to Step 1, recalculate the averages and goal KPIs, and start the process again.

Remember, every team member is an essential piece that’s going to move the needle of your business. Your staff can help grow your business by increasing the KPIs that matter. This 3-step system also builds a sense of teamwork and fulfillment that no amount of money can buy.

How do you motivate your staff? Do you have set goals and incentives, like the system I’m suggesting? What numbers matter the most to your business? How do you define “success”?
Want to apply this system to your practice? We’d love to work with you to get clear on the KPIs that matter for your unique business. In a two-hour session, we can create a custom incentive package to bring more profit to your practice and motivate your team like never before. Click here to learn more.

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