“She is trying to sue me coach!” My client blurted out between clenched teeth.
“After 16 years I was planning on giving her some of the proceeds from the sale of the practice as I felt she helped me build it.”
“Fine way to repay me don’t you think?” She questioned.
“Everything happens for a reason and that reason serves us,” I assured her. “Even if it is not very easy to see right now.”
So how do things like this happen and what can we do to prevent them?
It is actually simpler than you think if you stick to the basics of human interaction and have the courage to keep on it …… even after the relationship has grown seemingly beyond the basics.
STEP ONE: Have a WRITTEN CONTRACT with ALL team members.
There are no exceptions to this rule. If you do not have them now with your existing team you need to explain the value to them and get one written up and signed.
STEP TWO: Ensure there are written OUTCOMES ASSESSMENTS in the contract as Appendix A.
The outcomes define for the team member how to be great at the role, and inherently people want to be great at what they do. Sadly most entrepreneurs are not great at telling them how to be great at their role nor are they willing to take the time to train them.
STEP THREE: Have an up to date OFFICE/TEAM POLICY MANUAL as Appendix B of the contract.
Ensure that each policy has been reviewed, explained and signed off on. This will make for a more productive and fulfilled team member and will ensure the integrity of the culture and brand you have created.
STEP FOUR: Have a PROPER TRAINING SCHEDULE set up to assist the team member at mastering the Outcomes Assessment.
Use the Outcomes Assessment document as a basis for setting it up.
Go through it and put an ‘A’ beside all of the time urgent things that need to be trained on in the first few weeks. Put a ‘B’ beside everything that is the next level of time urgency, say within the first month. A ‘C’ is the next level of important things that need to be trained on in the first few months. ‘D’s are everything remaining.
Now go through and further prioritize the A’s by denoting the most important one as A1. The next as A2 and so on. Do the same with all the B’s, C’s and D’s as well.
Now estimate the time needed to properly train on that item. Commit to an amount or number of hours per week you will be working on training and which days of the week they are set for. Now simply insert A1 and/or A2 into the first training slot and so on until you have mapped out an entire training schedule.
STEP FIVE: Ensure the main accountability mechanisms are set up.
- WEEKLY TEAM MEETINGS
- MONTHLY REVIEW MEETINGS
- QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL PLANNING MEETINGS
- AND QUARTERLY TO THIRDLY TEAM PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
STEP SIX: Have the courage to confront and discipline the team member if they are not following the policies and procedures of the office or not fulfilling the outcomes.
This takes a lot of love to “tough love” someone but it is worth it in the end because the person at least knows how much you care and can grow and learn from the error in judgment.
STEP SEVEN: Be the LEADER your team deserves and FOLLOW THROUGH on the commitments and promises you make to your team.
In other words have some integrity. People will not follow someone far or long who does not walk their talk.
STEP EIGHT: Share the FINANCIALS.
It shows trust and respect for them as team members and can greatly increase buy in.
They have a really good understanding of the revenue coming in anyways so why not just share the wealth of knowledge you have about running a business and managing expenses. This often will increase the buy in from your team, while also allowing them to help you cut costs.
STEP NINE: Ensure you have BONUS structures set up.
Help the team get some psychic ownership of the business and celebrate together when things are going well. The extra efficiency and production usually far outweighs the actual bonus money you give them.
STEP TEN: CELEBRATE the victories and accomplishments in the business with them.
I am not just talking about the intellectual ones but the heart and soul ones as well.
If you follow these ten simple steps the probability of you getting STABBED IN THE BACK BY YOUR CHIROPRACTIC ASSISTANT are drastically reduced. This will allow you to keep focused on what you do best ……. Turning on the life force in your practice members.
You will be happy to know that even though there was no “happy” ending to the story about my client ………. She did not get sued because she settled out of court on my suggestion, there was less negative energy around the situation then there could have been.
This is the first step in creating a well structured team who sticks around for years to come and helps you build your practice with you.
Another way to get your CA to last longer is by investing in proper chiropractic assistant training. When they understand the benefits of chiropractic, understand and support your vision, and learn how to manage the operations, they stick around longer because they’re fulfilled!