You have spent the time, energy and money to find a great associate and now you want to keep them and grow your business with them too. Having employees is tricky, especially as the team of employees grows. A large team means more opportunity for growth, development and ultimately more money. With that comes the responsibility to your business and your associates to be the boss everyone wants to work for.
Stop eating your young!
Excuse me? That’s right; stop eating the chiropractic youngsters coming out of school. I remember hearing this adage when I was getting ready to graduate from Palmer College of Chiropractic and looking for a job. I heard the warnings and the horror stories of what happens to young chiropractors. Associates are getting screwed out of salary, time off, working horrendous hours, and a slew of broken promises.
Being a miserable person to work for gets around town. I heard such whisperings about the doctor I was going to go work for a few years ago, but I did not head them. My own story includes salary that would dwindle from year to year ‘as I built my own practice,’ continuing to add work hours and load with no additional means of compensation (heck, not even a thank you!), time off/lunch hours not explained, no real training, all the while being bad mouthed behind my back to the front desk ladies and patients. I’m still waiting for my equity opportunity. If you don’t want to create your own competition, don’t be a jerk!
You Can’t Make Chicken Soup out of Chicken Poop
Over-paying a bad associate still makes them a bad employee, but under-paying a good associate won’t help them to stay either. If you have done proper training and compensation and they still suck, then you need to know when to pull the plug. However, what do you when you have a rock star employee that you want to keep but you don’t have the funds to really entice them to stay? You incentivize anything in the business you want to grow.
Look at the metrics: gross of the clinic, new patients, patient retention, supplement lines/other goods that can be sold, number of adjustments per week/day/month, amount collected from insurance companies or if you do pre-paid/packaged plans how many sold in a month, etc. All these things can be incentivized. Example: if the clinic grosses X, the associate sells a certain number of supplements or sees so many patients, and then the associate gets a bonus. They don’t get the bonus unless the business meets its operating costs.
This has worked tremendously well in my clinic. It shows the associate how a good job can be rewarded financially without adding to your overhead.
Work the Millennial Mindset
What do Millennials love more than money? Making a difference and feeling appreciated of course! Heck, who doesn’t love those things too?
I call it “being a good finder.” One simple way to do this is to make a “kudos” jar (I guess this one does cost money). I found some simple smiley face plastic cups with lids on Amazon for $10 (or you could make one out of a mason jar for free!). It sits on the front desk and anytime someone catches a teammate doing something good, well, awesome, etc., they write a little note to that person and place it in the jar. At our weekly meetings, we each take one note out of the jar and go round robin, reading off all the good things that someone else noticed about us. Sound too simple? Well it is, and that’s ok. It’s not just a great way to start a meeting, it’s a way to show people you care and pay attention. As the boss, it shouldn’t end with just putting slips of paper in a jar. As the captain of the ship, your crew needs to know (almost daily) that you want them to succeed and be over-flowing with joy when they do well. Openly and honestly, you should always lift your team up in front of other staff members, patients, etc. As a ‘good finder,’ this task never ends, but the rewards are endless. The better you get at letting your employees shine, the more time and energy they will be willing to invest in the success of your practice. They won’t just be working for a paycheck; they will be working for the betterment of the patients, themselves and the business. Plus, a well-trained staff that likes you makes it easier to take all those well-deserved vacations. Ultimately, isn’t the point of dealing with employees and the risk of owning your own business to experience lifestyle freedom?
By Kassandra Schultz D.C.
Chiro Recruit Resident Blogger