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Steve Vargo | 9/27/2016

Can you find 20 or 30 minutes a week to hold a staff meeting? You might be surprised at the impact that it has on your optometry practice.

Your staff is your most valuable business asset. Your investment in optometry marketing, technology, office design, etc. will fail to deliver an optimal return if the aesthetic experience does not match the human experience. Training your staff and cultivating a patient-centric culture needs to be an ongoing activity. Regular staff meetings are a great way to continue to develop and nurture your team.

Here are 5 ways to supercharge your staff meetings:

  1. Discuss a negative patient experience. Solicit staff feedback and talk about how the situation could have been better handled for improved optometriest patient retention. Do not be publicly judgmental or critical of any staff members – explain that the goal is to be continuously improving the service level you provide your patients.
  2. Present a “caught in the act” award to a staff member for being caught providing exceptional customer service to a patient. A $10 gift certificate and a round of applause can go a long way toward making an optometry practice team member feel appreciated.
  3. Assign a different staff member each meeting to research a topic (importance of sun protection, causes of dry eye, etc.) and give a short presentation to the group. The best way to learn something new is to teach it to others. Your patients will be impressed with your staff’s knowledge of eye care topics.
  4. Assign different staff members to track a few key metrics of your optometry practice (second pair sales, average revenue per patient, etc.) and report on this – along with suggestions for improvement. You could establish monthly goals and bonus systems around these figures. This is a good way to engage staff in the business side of the practice and demonstrate that their compensation is tied to the growth of the business.
  5. Encourage staff to discuss anything interesting going on in their life. This is a chance to get to know them better on a personal level. Great leaders take the time to develop and nurture relationships with the people that work for them. This leads to a happier work environment and a more motivated staff. Your patients will take notice.
Steve Vargo
Practice Management Consultant
Steve Vargo, OD, MBA is a 1998 graduate of Illinois College of Optometry. After working in a clinical optometric practice for several years, Dr. Vargo pursued his passion for practice management by earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Phoenix in 2008. A published author and speaker with 15 years of clinical experience, he serves as IDOC’s Optometric Practice Management Consultant and advises members in all areas of practice management and optometric office operations. Steve and his wife Melanie have two sons, Lucas and Ryan. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cycling, sports and music. A native Chicagoan, he is an avid fan of the Cubs, live music and deep-dish pizza.
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