For most independent optometry offices, the OD calls the shots on how to run their practice. They are responsible for making important decisions and implementing changes to the optometry office software, workflow owners, and practice logistics. The problem, however, is that many practice owners make these changes without getting staff buy-in.
While you as the practice owner may be empowered to make the decisions and implement changes, not getting staff buy-in before you make a decision could result in strained working relationships, loss in employee focus, or even result in high employee turnover. When making a change at your practice, whether implementing new software or streamlining the workflow, make sure that you get buy-in from your team to gain respect from the staff and generate positive change compliance.
Below are three ways to get the buy-in you need to get your staff excited about the change.
1. Know the Impact the Change Will Have on the Workflow
Implementing any change is bound to have an impact on your office workflow—usually for the better. When was the last time you analyzed your workflow? Knowing which parts of the workflow the change will affect will help you identify the opinions that will matter the most when getting staff buy-in.
Look at your current practice processes and identify how implementing a change may temporarily interrupt the work of the person responsible for these tasks in the workflow.Whatever the result, let your staff know how the change will affect the work that they do and give them the opportunity to voice their concern about the changes. You may learn that certain staff members are doing more for your practice than you than you realized and that the change may affect their success.
2. Connect on the Vision
Does your practice have a vision statement? A vision statement explains the end goal of your practice in a few sentences. For example, your vision statement could be, “We’re a modern optometry practice using the best technology on the market to provide our patients with the highest level of care and the opportunity to play an active role in managing their health care experience.”
If you have a vision statement, does your staff know what it is and will the proposed change complement the vision statement?
Let your staff understand how implementing the change today will help drive the practice, the staff, and the patients toward your vision for the practice.
3. Communicate the Benefits
So far, we have talked about the impact that implementing an optometry office software change will have on the workflow and the practice vision, but what’s in it for your staff?
Know what excites your staff about their job and what direction they want to go in the future. Then communicate the benefits the change will provide for each of your staff members in their individual roles. If your front office likes to connect with in-office patients, will the implemented change help them spend less time on the phone with payers or manually entering patient medial history data so that they are free when patients are actually in the office?
If your technicians want to take on more responsibility around the practice, will the implemented change help them perform more of the pre-exam procedures effectively and efficiently?
Getting staff buy-in before you implement a change into your practice can save you from an uncooperative staff and may help you see other challenges that you didn’t consider before. When getting staff buy-in, make sure you understand how the change will affect the workflow, connect the change to the practice vision, and educate individual staff members on the benefits.
For more tips on performing a successful optometry office software implementation, download the Optometry Software Implementation Mini Guide!