2018 is upon us and your graduates have started in your business.
Are you overwhelmed already or do you have a set plan and structure?
Structure and a clear plan of action is key to success. Let's walk you through the immediate process to follow in the first month:
Most of us in private practice have stock to sell in our businesses and if you don't you should. Retail and selling is part of a modern day private practice, however it is an element that graduates do not get any exposure to at university or in placements. This training will be ongoing throughout the year, but setting the foundations and mindset within the first month is important to get the ball rolling. A graduate will only recommend or sell an item of stock if they are confident with the product, believe in the product and have the right scripts to detail the unique selling points to clients.
Tip: take your graduate into your store room and take them through the stock you have available, the unique selling points, how to fit and prescribe an item and then start role playing a sales scenario. Start this moulding process early for great results. Don't just send them into your storeroom to familiarise themselves with your stock, it needs to be dedicated training in this foreign area to graduates if they are going to have success with sales in your business.
Take the time to provide equipment training to your graduates. A graduate will not use a piece of equipment they are unfamiliar with. There is nothing more unnerving for a patient then to see a graduate fumble around with an electrical machine that is going to be applied to THEM.
The modern day physiotherapy clinic has lots of gadgets and equipment to learn and many graduates have had little to no exposure to some of this equipment in private practice. Don't assume if they have used an IFT or US machine elsewhere that all machines are the same, they still need training.
Tip: each morning for the first few weeks, get your graduate to get in the habit of testing the machines so that they get familiar with applying them with confidence. Then you can start role playing the scripts they can use to explain the use of the equipment on their patients.
KPI Targets and Expectations
Setting expectations early and detailing the goals and learning targets will set the tone and foundations for your graduates 12 month development program.
They must realise they have started in the specialised field of private practice, it is a business, and it is different from what they have learnt at university. There will be some steep learning curves and mindset challenges to overcome very quickly if they are to thrive in a business model of care.
Set your KPI targets and be very upfront about what you expect. "Shiny shoes win wars" is a great quote in regards to setting standards within a business and not letting them drop, because the small things that you let slide will turn into big things eventually and become unmanageable. You want to create a high performing clinician for your business for the future and it starts at the beginning.
Clinical Skills Appraisal
It is always a good idea to get in early and check on your graduates manual therapy skills. Are they too soft? Are they too hard and hurting patients? Find out now before you get the complaints.
Are they treatment effective?
Tip: I suggest you get your graduate on the bed and treat them with good and bad techniques so that they can feel the difference and then get them to treat you and give honest feedback. Most graduates have never had any massage or physiotherapy on themselves apart from prac classes at university, which is probably not the best example from fellow students. You will need to give a refresher in this department.
Schedule 1:1 sessions
Get out the diary and start securing 1:1 mentoring time with your graduates. It is the best way to fast track your graduate's individual progress within your business. Group training, in-services, ordinary training are good but individual mentoring is best. Graduates are seeking roles with mentoring and if you are having a high turnover of young graduates in your business, then you may not be delivering what they are seeking in a job. Taking yourself off a caseload to mentor a graduate may feel like you will be cutting into your revenue earning capacity, but only in the short term. The benefits in the long run, will be a well trained graduate that can potentially take on some of your caseload and give you the opportunity to have a break or start working on your business. Is that not why you are hiring a team?
Tip: How long should I dedicate each week? Depends on the graduate, but we recommend at a minimum 1 hour per week.