I’ve worked in large organizations and I was rewarded on two separate occasions for my birthday. One was at a large hospital system, where I received a voucher for a free meal in the cafeteria and the other was at a college where I received a card and gift card from the college president.
Granted it wasn’t a ticker tape parade, it was recognition. While it is good to recognize employees on birthdays and holidays, you don’t have to wait for a birthday or December to come around in order to reward your staff.
Reward the Achievement Short Term Goals
Have your staff keep track of things such as contact lenses sales, second pair sales, premium eyeglass sales etc. As the sales record shows what is being sold or not sold you and your staff will see what works and what doesn’t. When staff exceed sales numbers for the month, reward them. Of course, if sales don’t exceed expectations, don’t be punitive. Instead learn why and if a staff member has an idea to increase sales, give it a shot. If works, be sure to reward that employee.
Train to Sell with Patients in Mind
While sales of second pairs, contact lenses and contact lens accessories and premium eyeglasses bring in more money to the practice, you can’t just upsell to patients. Case in point, I wear eyeglasses and I’ve been a candidate for contact lenses since I was a teenager. Yet, no amount of talk of the benefits of wearing contact lenses will get me to switch. Why? Two reasons. One, I’m rough on my glasses as in, I’ve sat on them and got them scratched by an emery board. Two, I don’t want to go through all the trouble of taking them out to clean and sterilize them. So, someone like me would be a better sales target for a second pair of glasses or glasses with features like blue light filter or transition lenses. So, train your staff sell in a way to matches both wants and needs of patients. Not only will your practice meet its sales numbers, your practice will be rewarded with a loyal patient because you are meeting by needs and wants.
Recognize Employees in Front of Peers
You don’t need a special occasion to recognize your staff for their efforts. You can recognize them at weekly staff meetings. In fact, it is a very good idea to do that at weekly staff meetings. It shows that you are aware of the good work that they are doing and will recognize that good work. Doing this also serves as an incentive for staff to go above and beyond, since you are the kind of boss that recognizes staff members early and often for their efforts.
Give and Receive Informal Feedback
Feedback needs to be two way for the practice to continually improve. Staff needs to hear from you and you need to hear from staff. Are certain frames selling more than others? Has there been a run on contact lenses? Are patients complaining about wait time? Are you finding that your practice sees more working folks on weekday evenings and more families on weekday afternoons? Whatever is going on in the practice talk to your staff about it and listen when a staff member talk to you. What you learn may pleasantly surprise you.
Your staff are the ones dealing with patients, sales reps and insurance companies. Acknowledge their expertise and reward them for the hard work they do.