Managing a chiropractic staff is an ongoing challenge for most clinic owners. This is a crucial area for practice growth and is an important reason to see the help of an experienced and qualified Chiropractic practice management consultant.
There are three broad divisions of employees in Chiropractic office:
- Other chiropractors: associates or junior partners
- Other health care providers (non-chiropractic). Massage therapists are the most common, but this could easily be naturopaths, acupuncturists, naturopaths, MD’s, DOs, athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, dieticians/weight loss management coaches, among others.
- Administrative staff: patient facing (front desk), financial and record keeping (back desk) and managerial (managing other people and supplies).
These divisions are significantly different from each other, and we cannot over-generalize about the requirements of doing things properly. However, there are a few key concepts that apply to most if not all employees:
- What am I responsible for? This means a job description, training and resources to learn the basics and the details about the job.
- What’s the hierarchy? The larger the organization, the more important the org chart is. Smaller nimble companies, like most practices have simple, flat org charts. Still, it’s important for everyone to understand the chain of command and who reports to whom.
- What are the rules? This is an employee handbook, outlining how to be an employee, and what is expected versus off limits.
- How do I succeed? Everyone want to be able to succeed at what they are doing. What are the metrics we are using? Are they transparent and within the control or influence of the employee?
Remember that employee management is a bit of an art form and also a learned skill. Nobody is born knowing how to do this. We have no training in this critical area: there are essentially no classes in school on how to manage a chiropractic office. Mistakes and delays are costly, and most of the time we feel as if we are navigating without a map. Think of the above items as the infrastructure of a growing practice. It’s not exciting to dig and pour a foundation, but the end results can be spectacular.
If you are struggling with this area of practice management, please contact me for guidance, installation of procedures and policies and general strengthening of this crucial piece.