As a clinic owner, you might not be in the practice at the same time as your team and associates, so it’s really important that you schedule regular 1-2-1 meetings with all members of the team.

It’s also key that you stick to meetings you’ve arranged – it can be tempting to push meetings back when your diary starts getting full, and you begin to think “oh, I’ve got to just a fit another patient in”, but your communication with your team is absolutely key, and having regular 1-2-1 meetings is too.

What you don’t want is to bring someone on board and become “ships in the night” because you never have the time set aside to talk with them properly. This could lead to your employee/associate feeling disgruntled, unloved, or not looked after, and they might decide to start looking for work elsewhere.

Monitoring Staff Performance

Without regular 1-2-1s, you could also find yourself feeling unhappy with your employee/associate’s performance. There are 4 keys reasons for underperformance in the workplace:

Your employee/associate doesn’t know what’s expected of them

If this is the case, it means that you haven’t been clear about what your expectations are for their role.

Your employee/associate doesn’t know that they’re not meeting your expectations

So you might have set out your expectations, but you haven’t actually said to them that they’re not achieving what they need to.

Your employee/associate can’t meet your expectations

In this case, you need to identify the expectations they can’t meet, and also what training your they need to be able to meet those expectations.

Your employee/associate won’t meet expectations

Unfortunately, there will be some times where this is the case. At this point, when you know that they’re not going to meet your expectations, or they’re not going to align to your values and how you want the patient journey and team experience to be, you need to invite them to go and express their talents elsewhere.

You really need to be having 1-2-1 meetings and communicating for each of the stages above: setting expectations, letting them know that they’re meeting them or they’re not, helping them with the training, or finding someone that is better suited for your organisation.

Why Recruitment Matters

A good recruitment and induction process is key to getting communication off to a good start. It’s important to be really clear about what it is that you’re looking for when you’re interviewing, and allow the candidate to interview you too, to ensure your business is a good fit for what they’re looking for. One of our sayings is hire slow and fire fast. So, really take your time to make sure that you get the right person. We know it can be difficult to find, for example, physiotherapists and osteopaths, but it is much better to try and wait it out and get the right person on board than take someone on that doesn’t really have the right attitude, because a few months down the line, you’re going to be kicking yourself. Another key thing to remember is “hire for attitude and train for skill” – if someone aligns with your business values and culture, you can always provide them training to develop the skills you’re looking for.

Consistency is Key

It’s going to take time for you to really learn to operate together as a team. One of the things that’s critical to enabling consistency will be having regular team meetings scheduled. So whether that’s five minutes every single day, or whether that’s half an hour once a week. The most important thing is to begin with just getting some consistency and some rhythm so that everybody knows when they’re going to see you and when they’re going to have a chance to communicate and ask any questions. You should also be consistent with when you schedule your 1-2-1 meetings for. In the beginning, we believe that these should be once a week. They might shift to fortnightly, monthly or quarterly.

What’s important to recognise is that you’ve got to make time for your team just in the same way that you make time for your clients, and the more you can get things into a rhythm , the smoother they are and the less confusion there is, and the more certainty and consistency you’re able to provide everybody.

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