Can Your Optical Practice Retain Staff with Career Development Plans?

Setting a career path for your staff can benefit you, your staff, and your optical practice. By starting a career path for your employees it's a great way to reduce employee turnover rates and develop the talent you need to take your practice to the next level. More importantly, it will give your optometric practice a positive image in the community.

This post explores some ways you can establish career development opportunities for your staff.

4 Ways to Create a Career Path for Your Optical Practice Staff

Plan for the Future

Before you begin asking your optometric staff about their career ambitions, you should first prepare for the future and identify where you want your practice to be in the next couple of years and know how you will get there. Once you have these actions and goals established, you can begin asking your staff members where they want to take their careers.

Align Goals

As your staff beings to communicate with you about where they want to take their careers, listen carefully and try to find ways that you can combine their professional ambitions with your optical practice goals. For example, if your practice goal is to increase your patient count by eight to ten percent and a staff member is interested in marketing or event planning, then map your practice goal to that individual.

Form an Action Plan

Now that you know how your staffs' career ambitions align with your business goals, you and the staff members can start to develop an action plan that will help them learn the tools, techniques, and best practices associated with their dream job. Some learning resources you can use include:

  • Books: Recommending professional development books to your staff can help them dive into best practices. Check out these three business books that you could recommend.
  • Formal/online training: A staff member that is interested in technology is a huge asset to your optical practice. Come up with a training plan that will help them learn more about the technology you use in the office.
  • Mentorship: When exploring a new career path, connecting a staff member with a mentor will help your ambitious staff learn about the profession firsthand from an individual with expertise. Look at your own connections and community and help establish a meaningful mentorship program in your practice.

Monitor Status

If this career exploration is completely new to your staff member, they may not know what questions to ask. While it’s important to let the staff try things on their own for a bit, regularly ask them for a status update and if anything is getting in their way of success. Most importantly, check-in with them to see if they are still interested in that career path and if they need any help.

Creating a career path for you staff and investing in their development is going to benefit your optical practice by reducing employee turnover rates and by developing the talent that your practice needs to succeed. When developing a career plan, first identify your practice’s future plans, align the plans to your staff’s career goals, establish an action plan, and then monitor status.

For more information on how you can turn your optical practice into a thriving business, read our 5 Year Plan Guide.


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2016. It has been updated in August 2023

Back to Blog

Related Articles

The Best Goal Tracking Template for Optometrists

Developing a 3 or 5 year plan for your practice can be stressful, but it's something every...

How to Create Your Dream Job in Eyecare

After you graduate from optometry school, there are many possible avenues for you to embark on....

Benefits of Implementing a Referral Program for your Eyecare Practice

Implementing a referral program in your eyecare practice is a great way to build relationships...