What is Productivity Waste? What do I need to know?
Loss of productivity is a waste that indirectly impacts your profit margin - it is like a leaky faucet. You are not aware of the slow depletion of profits until the end of the quarter or year. Without the knowledge of what this type of waste is and how it impacts your profits, you probably would not have incorporated important checks and controls in the office to monitor this type of activity.
Most of the time your business objective is centered on new client/patient acquisition to increase your revenue and bolster your profits. However, once you identify wasteful areas in your office, you can take action to stop, reduce or eliminate these forms of waste. With this new knowledge, you should challenge yourself and your staff to pro-actively seek out other forms of office waste.
Job Descriptions - Without written job descriptions you could be dealing with cross-over duties in the office which is a waste of time, and thus, productivity. As it is said, ‘the right hand must know what the left is doing', with ambiguity comes waste. A written job description identifies each function of the job and how you want it performed. Therefore, there is no question about what is required to do the job, time is saved and productivity increases.
Performance Objectives - How are your employees performance measured? Without written, time-bound, and measurable objectives you will continue to give subjective evaluations which can be perceived as favoritism in the office. You are wasting your emotional time and effort giving performance evaluations based on how smooth the office is running - which is subjective in nature. With written, time-bound and measurable performance objectives, employees know exactly how their performance is measuring-up. So when it comes to the evaluation - your job is almost 90% complete.
Job Training - If training employees keeps you busy to the point you don't have time to work on your duties (which require technical expertise), many cases, a simple training manual for each job will ease the stress you feel when hiring & training new employees. In addition, having a procedures manual for each position in the office, will help other key people in the office to fill in for others when they are sick or on vacation. Save wasted time by developing a training manual.
Task Follow-up - Do you hear these comments? - “I'll call you tomorrow", “Call me when you get back" “I'll do that tomorrow. " “Don't forget to remind me" How does your staff let you know that certain calls need to be made, and by when? How many ‘sticky notes’ get lost? Have you considered looking into new office software (or use what is available) to scheduled tasks, (with a reminder feature) calls or action items for yourself, staff and patients. Efficiency of follow-up increases productivity and patient satisfaction - which leads to increased profits.
Staffs Weaknesses and Strengths - Are you too easy on some staff members and not others because, from your perspective, they have certain performance strengths you need in the office. Do you ignore their weaknesses, hoping to avoid confrontation and disruption the office? Or, is it easier just to do the job yourself, or delegate the work instead of replacing the weaker performer? This is productivity waste at its highest level! Take charge to ensure weaker performers don't drain productivity of others. Increased productivity and leadership in the office reduces costs and increases profits.
Charlotte Preston is a certified coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. She works with professionals in the dental, medical & chiropractic fields as a marketing coach. Her company Coach for Docs, offers coaching services to talented health-care professionals in these fields to strengthen skills necessary to create a winning business team. She has worked with many professionals, assisting them to grow leadership, marketing and team building teams. For more information regarding the continuing series of her Office Waste articles contact her at http://www.coachfordocs.com