If you’re a multi-office practice owner, you know how challenging it can be to manage more than one practice while still providing top-quality care to your patients. You can’t do it alone. That means that you probably rely on your staff to help you keep everything running smoothly.
At HENO, that’s a challenge we understand well because we own multiple PT offices. We created HENO to help us manage our multi-office practice easily and efficiently, so we know what it takes.
Since your staff is so important, here are some staff training and development tips that have helped us over the years.
Tip: Split Training into Manageable Pieces
It might be tempting to put all of your staff members into intensive training, so they can learn everything in one go. But in our experience, that’s not the best way to learn.
In fact, there’s evidence that learning a little bit at a time is a more effective way to master new skills than trying to cram everything into one training session.
For that reason, we recommend starting employees off with their “must-learn” training first. Give them the time they need to learn the basics of their jobs before they move on to the next phase of training.
Tip: Allow Employees to Use Their Training Immediately
Your staff is far more likely to retain the training they receive if they put it to work immediately. Here’s an example.
Say you’ve implemented a new set of protocols to handle incoming calls to your practice. Instead of training everybody and then letting your receptionists handle most calls, have everybody take a shift at the front desk in the few days after your training.
That way, everybody gets a chance to experience the new protocols in real time. They’ll be able to ask questions if they have them and everybody on your staff will be ready to answer calls when it’s necessary.
Tip: Create Standardized Learning Assets for Staff Training
When you own a multi-office medical practice, it’s in your best interest to standardize your procedures from practice to practice. That way, staff from one office can fill in at another office in a pinch and there won’t be any confusion about how to do things.
We think one of the most important elements of training is to create written learning assets -- including employee manuals, step-by-step procedures, and so on. When you’ve got written materials, it’s far easier to standardize your training and ensure that your entire staff is doing things the way you prefer.
Tip: Gamify Your Staff Training and Development
It’s probable that you’ll have some staff members who are excited about new training and others who are reluctant to change the way they’ve been doing things. People have a tendency to get set in their ways and you may need to give them a reason to participate enthusiastically in your training.
One way to do that is to gamify the experience. You can reward staffers who complete training early or assign points to training tasks and give rewards based on point totals. It’s a good way to turn training into a priority.
Tip: Make Training Accessible
One of the biggest roadblocks to employee training and development is accessibility. If it’s not easy for employees to learn what you want them to learn, they’ll avoid it -- and you’ll end up with a mutiny on your hands.
There are different ways to improve the accessibility of your staff training and development. For example, you could:
Allow employees remote access to your training materials so they can choose how and when to train.
Make your training programs usable on mobile devices.
Offer employees a flexible training schedule.
Create a tuition or training reimbursement program to encourage employees to further their professional development.
These things show employees that you’re dedicated to their professional development and that you’ll do what’s needed to make it easy for them to engage.
Tip: Solicit Opinions on How to Improve Your Training
One of the biggest complaints employees have about training is that it’s not practical. If your employees run into issues as a result of your training, it’s important to create an environment where they’re comfortable telling you about them instead of quietly resenting them.
Common employee complaints about training include:
Training is not relevant to their jobs.
It takes too long.
It’s not practical or useful.
If your employees aren’t happy with your training and professional development programs, you need to know about it. Understanding what works and doesn’t work for your staff is a must when you’re running a multi-office practice. It can be easy to get caught up in the work of practice management and lose sight of your employees -- and that’s a good way to end up with high staff turnover and resentment.
So, take the time to talk to your staff about your training. Learning what works and what doesn’t will help you improve it and ensure that your practices are running smoothly.
Being a multi-office practice owner is hard work. The tips we’ve listed here will help you do the best possible job of training your staff and providing optimal care to your patients.
Want to see how HENO can help you manage multiple offices? Click here to schedule a free demo!
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.