Patient no-shows can throw a wrench into your day, luckily you can quickly recover from this. But, when a staff member fails to show up for work, this can affect your other staff members, your office workflow, and sometimes even the level of patient care that you administer.
If you’re a small optometric practice owner with a four member staff, having one person unexpectedly become absent makes you run at only 80% capacity. This increases the work that your staff has to try to make up and may require you to take on other administrative work that keeps you from managing patient care.
When you’re hiring new staff members, make searching for attendance record part of the hiring process. You want to find a team member that you can rely on to show up at work, on-time, and be ready to treat your patients with respect.
One way you can screen applicants for consistency is to call their references and ask two important questions:
You might not always get the answer to these questions, but you won’t know unless you ask. By asking these questions, you can get a gauge on the attendance record of the applicant in your practice.
One of the main reasons for a staff member to not show up is because the individual believes that they are under paid or under acknowledged. To curb this, try adding an incentive to acknowledge good attendance. Like most incentive programs, it doesn’t always have to be of monetary value, recognizing staff members with an employee of the month certificate, extended lunch, or a free day off may be enough motivation to keep your team from being tardy.
A patient no-show policy can limit the amount patient no-shows that affect your schedule. In your practice, you can create a similar policy for your staff members and create a process for reporting off in advance and listing the ramifications of not showing up for work.
Emergencies happen. Sometimes an unplanned event occurs that temporarily sidelines a staff member and keeps them from reporting to work. Before you jump to conclusions about why a staff member didn’t report off and missed their shift, give them a call and see if something happened that kept them from coming in.
One person failing to show up can cripple a small staff’s productivity. Even if you’re ahead of your goals, the impact of operating at less than 100% can compound and leave lasting effects. From team burnout, to lack of trust; over time, this could cost your practice a lot.
It’s important to establish a sense of ownership for the team’s success by explaining each staff role,and how the entire team relies on each other to get the job done.
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