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Camaraderie between medical practice staff is one of the cornerstones of a successful practice. Here are some ways to cultivate it at your practice.
I write a lot about the dynamic of the clinic staff and how that affects your marketing and your patients' perception of your practice. Your work family (aka your staff or team) is one of the cornerstones of a successful practice.
Your patients spend the bulk of their interaction with your practice interacting with your team and witnessing how they interact with each other.
Here are ten unique strategies to cultivate camaraderie, improve communication, and motivate your team:
1. Spread the wealth. Do you have an ancillary product or service line that is bringing in the big bucks? (One of my clients nets about $250,000 a month from one of its service lines that we established in their office.) Start a profit sharing or bonus program as a perk for your staff.
2. Hold a track and field day. Spring is just around the corner, there is no better time to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Feature team building outdoor activities or take your team to a local gymnastics school for indoor trampoline fun.
3. Feed them. Keep your break room stocked with healthy snacks, beverages, and fresh foods for your staff to eat as needed. You may consider a team building lunch or dinner.
4. Attend a film festival. Do you have a large clinic with multiple departments or locations? Have each group create a short video and then have a mini-film festival. Give awards for "Best Film," "Best Dressed," and "People’s Choice." You can even involve patients in the voting.
5. Give back to your community. Have a food drive, volunteer at a food kitchen, collect for Toys for Tots, or even consider giving employees paid time off for volunteering.
6. Promote gratitude. Keep a dry erase board or giant sticky note in the clinic for staff to post anonymous notes of gratitude. It is a simple and uplifting tool for all.
7. Take an employee to work day. This is a fun way to promote cross training. Have an employee visit another department for a day of learning.
8. Sponsor a challenge for charity. Get your staff onboard for a 5K, mud-run, half marathon, or something of the like. Offer a donation to a local charity (if the race isn’t already set up for charity) for each mile completed or for each participant.
9. Hold a movie night. Host a summer or spring movie night in the parking lot at the office or at a local park for your team and their families. This is very popular with families in the clinic (and pretty darn good for marketing if you make it a public event).
10. Initiate random acts of kindness. Make a list of random acts of kindness, put all of these acts in a bowl, and have each employee draw one per week. Then, ask staff to discuss their completion of the project at the following meeting.
Whatever you choose, make building strong relationships and teamwork between you and your staff fun and enjoyable, and give staff yet another reason to be thankful they work in your practice.