Team meetings present terrific opportunities for you to improve your practice for the better and, if your practice does not hold them regularly,—at least once a month—you may be losing out! In the course of my practice consultations, one of the most common concerns presented by staff members is the absence of regular and effective communication in the practice. Through regular team meetings, you can review and instill proper practice protocols, encourage team members when they are doing well, correct common mistakes and receive suggestions from your team on how the practice might function more efficiently. In addition, if you have initiated training for the staff, you can review their progress.
So, how do you conduct effective and productive team meetings that do not digress into nothing but the voicing of complaints? Every meeting needs a leader and an agenda. Either you or your practice manager should lead meetings. To create an agenda, begin by asking the staff to provide ideas. Keep a board up in your employee break room for team members to list ideas and concerns. Next, think about what currently in going on in your practice. Are you introducing a new product or service or implementing a new protocol? Do you have a new practice goal you wish to share with your team and for which you can garner their support? Once you have a manageable list of ideas, the discussion of which should consume no more than an hour of time, create an agenda. If you have employee e-mail addresses, send the agenda out to your team members a few days before the meeting so they know what to expect and can be prepared to comment. If you really are pressed for ideas or do not have time to create an agenda, consider finding new subject matter for meetings in the free “Team Meeting in a Virtual Box” updated regularly on the Firstline website.
Last but not least, team meeting should be fun and not something to be dreaded! Serve cupcakes or have other treats for the staff. Always share a light-hearted or amusing story from every day events in your practice. You and your team soon will appreciate the value of meetings and you’ll have yet another tool in your arsenal for improving and building your practice.