A physical therapy practice can’t succeed without its helpful and capable staff. There are several factors that determine your employees’ value within the facility, and it’s important to recognize the quality of service workers provide among your team and to their clients. Every employee is different, but there are five questions to ask to discover your workers’ contributions to your practice. By answering these inquiries, you can commend those who are adding value to your clinic and reevaluate those workers who aren’t.
1. Are your employees on time?
Promptness is important, especially in a field that relies on appointments to move clients efficiently through necessary steps. A late employee can throw off the practice’s schedule for the rest of the day and anger clients. Consistently tardy workers can result in lost customers and a poor reputation for your clinic. On the other hand, therapists that arrive on time, or even before they are scheduled, can contribute to a better, more productive practice.
2. Do your employees take initiative?
There’s a difference between a worker just going through the motions and an employee doing his or her work with a purpose. Clients notice a therapist who is motivated to help them get better and so should you. Those who show little interest in patients’ success may not add value to your practice. Therapists who go above and beyond for their clients will not only enhance a customer’s experience, but help optimize your clinic’s character for future clients.
“A more collaborative work environment could help patients feel more comfortable about their treatment.”
3. Do your therapists display leadership?
Employees who lend a hand to their fellow workers can be beneficial for your practice. Not only does leadership show a firm grasp on one’s own responsibilities, but it also displays the ability to assist others to make clients’ experiences the best they can be. The patient’s well-being is always most important, so if one therapist can confidently guide another without condescension, that employee adds value to your practice. An employee with a certain level of self-confidence and comfort with leading other employees can be a significant asset to your team, according to Forbes.
4. Can your employees collaborate?
Leadership is important, but so is teamwork. Physical therapy, while often just between a therapist and patient, can require the assistance of other employees. It’s vital that your therapists know how to work together to ensure the best situation for the client. Whether it’s a joint session or collaborating on a therapy strategy for a customer, employees need to be able to assist one another. A more collaborative work environment helps patients feel more comfortable about their treatment.
5. Is your team communicative?
When your practice concerns the well-being of patients, it’s important for staff members to be in constant communication with one another. Do your therapists tell each other when someone is covering a shift for them? Do they properly disclose important patient information and observations to the employee covering the case? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, having a way to effectively communicate among workers when a patient is in the office is necessary for the best patient care. The AAFP gives the example of an elderly patient that tells the receptionist that he or she is well, but has a difficult time standing up. That observation should be shared with the patient’s therapist so that he or she can better prepare for the client’s session. A team that is able to communicate with one another ensures a better experience for a patient.
Once you’ve determined the value of your employees, it’s beneficial to let them know that you notice these traits. Rewarding them for their hard work will only make them want to perform better for both their clients and for the practice overall.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.