Physical Therapy Practice: How important is team training?

When I worked for the hospital, we had staff meetings about once a month.  Those “meetings” usually comprised of a vendor coming in and giving us free lunch to talk about their product or company, or it was a birthday party or celebration of some holiday.  But 9 times out of 10 they had absolutely NOTHING to do with actual training to better ourselves as providers and as a company.  How many of you fall into this category?  

I think often times supervisors, business owners, boss’ think that by scheduling time for training ends in a loss of profit during that time.  In fact the complete opposite is true.  If your team is not on the same page and learning and growing together, then you are actually losing out on money, or better yet, further success of the company.  If you rely on emails or posting memos to alert your staff of important information, you’ve got it all wrong.  There’s something to be said about sitting down with a room full of your peers and discussing how everyone can contribute to creating more success for everyone.  This not only creates for a better, more cohesive working environment, but it also places your employees front and center to help drive the business.  They aren’t necessarily making decisions, but their input and suggestions sometimes carries more weight with their peers than if it came from their boss/supervisor/owner.

A few years ago I stopped running my meetings.  Mainly because they were just that; a meeting run by me, the owner.  I conveyed my message and plan for the week as their eyes glazed over and they rejoiced for a few minutes to zone out without having patients to treat.  Typically nothing was every accomplished from a team meeting.  

Today my meetings are every Monday after lunch…their bellies are full and they all participate.  It isn’t run by just one person, it’s run by the whole team.  Each team member has a job to report on and give some motivation to the team.  We go over the good things in the office and how to continue that trend.  Then we go over the bad, and how to get away from that happening again.  I attend the meetings fairly regularly, but I do not contribute every time; I only contribute when I want to really emphasize how great everyone is doing.  I never need to dwell on the bad because my team is close enough to already know how they can help each other correct it.  

In addition to our full team meetings on Mondays, we also have a weekly Wednesday “training”.  Some weeks it will include the whole staff, and other times we will split up the clinical and office staff.  The overall goal of the trainings are to educate or better the staff on something; it can be anything from learning new clinical skills,  to coming up with new add-on services, to talking about difficult patient cases.  I have a ‘training leader’ that is in charge of running the trainings and delegating to the rest of the team who is responsible for each week’s training.  Video taping the trainings is a helpful tool to be able to look back and refresh, or train a new employee.  We also use the videos to train our other satillite office.

The takeaway from today should be three main things:

1. Schedule a short staff meeting weekly, and stick to it!  Give each team member a role for the meetings so everyone contributes.

2. Schedule weekly or biweekly team trainings.  Choose someone to be in charge and they can delegate how they would like to the team to come up with topics.

3. Video, or at least write up notes, on each meeting and training.  This helps a lot with employees that are not present.


Similar Posts