Usually the winter holidays are filled with family reunions, festivities, events, and general conviviality. The holidays in 2020 are different because of the social distancing measures we're all following, though. Which means your staff and patients might need a bit of extra motivation to take care of themselves and put their eye health first.
We thought about different ways you can spread joy and make your patient's time in your practice as enjoyable as possible. Here are a few ideas we thought were winners:
Creating a Positive Optometry Practice Environment
Thank You Cards & Gifts
Words are important, so we encourage you to habitually send end-of-year thank you email or cards to every patient that visited your practice that year. You can even include a few of the highlights you've experienced, charities you might have worked with, or special stories you want to share in that email. Sending these notes make sure you're staying personable and allow patients to get to know your staff and practice a little better. Along the same lines, you should also provide gifts to your staff for their hard work throughout the year.
Promoting Mental Breaks
Although productivity looks different for each practice, usually a productive practice is very busy with little downtime between patients. However, everyone is susceptible to burnout and fatigue can lead to lower customer satisfaction or errors in patient care. That's why we think incorporating a little bit of meditation, yoga breaks, or just breathing exercises into your staff routine can be helpful. Many public places like airports have prayer/meditation rooms. Even if you don't have an empty space for this, you can encourage your staff to go for 10 minute breaks where they turn their eyes away from a screen or think about something besides work. These breaks can also help renew your sense of motivation throughout the day.
Sharing 2021 Resolutions or Promises
Everyone has has to change their perspectives and expectations for the future this year. However, it can be unsettling to not be able to plan ahead due to uncertainty around travel, trade shows, and business openings. People want something to look forward to. Also, transparency has been very important this year to consumers, so we think that sharing a few things you're looking forward to in your practice next year could be motivating for both staff and patients. If you're stumped for ideas, here are a few that might apply to you:
- Shorter exams without waiting rooms (safety & efficiency)
- Virtual frame try-on or online dispensary
- Walk-up window
- A new associate OD
- COVID-19 protocol training for new staff
- Digital patient education videos/content
- Patient referral discounts or incentives
Of course, sharing these goals also holds you accountable to make them happen, which can be the biggest motivator for yourself.