How to Help Your Team Achieve More than They Think They Can

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Minda Zetlin, Inc. Magazine Online

Reviewed by Michael Vacon, PT

Author Minda Zetlin interviews Dan Schoenbaum, chief executive officer of the software company Redbooth, about his tips and techniques for getting his team to achieve more. Not only is Dan Schoenbaum the CEO of Redbooth, but he is also a former sniper in the Israeli paratrooper force. He relates how the intense training he had when he joined the military has helped him develop some techniques with his team. In his first day in the military, he learned that the culmination would be an 80-mile march with a 50-pound pack on his back. He shares how no one thought it would be possible at first, but after a gradual buildup of intense training it ended up being very attainable.

Overall, he has four simple tips or principles he uses with his employees. Although simple concepts, these can be very helpful in our industry—or any industry for that matter. If you own a private practice, you realize the importance of having to build an efficient team; one that knows how to pull together, multitask, meet sudden deadlines, and still provide a superior product. Here is how Dan Schoenbaum helps his people go beyond their limits:

1. Break it down into manageable steps. He summarizes that having the long vision of your plan is good for your employees, but many people need things broken down into smaller, more digestible steps to keep them from getting overwhelmed. In some cases, you may not know how to break things into smaller steps, but if you share a grand vision with your team, they might actually help come up with smaller, attainable steps to help you get there. He believes that his job is sometimes to be the rudder. While his team is working on the smaller tasks, he is making sure they are staying on the overall course he has set.

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2. Rally the troops. Achieving goals, especially grand ones, can be a daunting task. We would like to believe that all our employees are endlessly motivated to succeed at any cost, but the truth is people can lose focus on the big picture when they are “in the weeds.” Schoenbaum relates a situation in which his group was constantly losing contracts to a competitor and how he pulled everyone together for a motivational meeting to get all the departments working together to overcome the competing company. Having a sense of comradery can be vital in situations like this; rather than feeling like you are letting others down, you now realize that you have a supportive team around you.

3. Use rewards—the right way. Schoenbaum is not a big believer in “pay-for-play” where you incentivize a team by offering financial rewards for achieving a goal. He believes that people should be paid appropriately for doing their jobs without constantly dangling the potential of extra money for motivation. He does believe in offering rewards that bring a team together to accomplish a goal. He relates a scenario in which a development team was tasked to come in ahead of deadlines for a project and he offered them a huge party for the whole company if they succeeded. They met the deadline, had the party, and it really showed the team the power of collective effort.

4. Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Schoenbaum believes that not micromanaging a team is important; however, being specific about who owns what responsibility and when specific deadlines or checkpoints are, is vital for success. Overall, he believes that teams are not good at setting goals, roles, and responsibilities; however, a team that has this established from the start has a much better chance of excellent execution. He believes it is the leader’s role to “map out the goals and responsibilities…and then get out of the way.”

Overall, I liked the simplicity of his leadership plan. We all have teams of different sizes, but following these basic principles can help us lead our team to greatness. I know they hit home with me and gave me some great ideas for leading my team into the challenges that certainly face us ahead. 

The article can be found at: www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/how-tohelp-your-team-achieve-more-than-they-think-they-can.html.

Who Is the Customer?

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By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

While still growing as part of our health care vernacular, the notion of the “customer” is gaining adoption as an acceptable term used to describe those we serve.

But who is the customer after all?

My preferred definition is as referenced above: those we serve. Or more broadly, those we want to serve. This view opens up our perspective on the concept of customer and allows us to focus, not just on the person in need of care, but also on their family, friends, and the community in which they live.

This definition, as directed at the professional referral segment (physicians and other health care professionals), allows for a wide recognition of the customer as well. Not only is the physician the customer, but also the referral coordinator, office manager, receptionist, and anyone else who may hold influence in the decision to mention your name.

Huddle Up for Operations Success

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By Paul Martin, PT, MPT, CBI, M&AMI

As we continue to be challenged by declining reimbursements, physician-owned practices, corporate competition, and the Affordable Care Act, we need to have our staff focused on driving operational results—the key business metrics to ensure your practice is at the highest level of operational excellence. We suggest two strategies to make this happen:

  1. Create operations budgets and targets for your staff. Consider the key metrics that will drive the financial success of the business, such as visits per new patient, charges per visit, units per visit, and visits per professional per hour.
  2. Do a weekly huddle! A huddle is different from a meeting. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos offense do not sit down and take notes in a huddle. So your operations huddles should be done standing up around the leader. Demand participation, and let everyone know how important it is to meet and exceed operations targets.

This week set your operations targets and call for your staff to….huddle up!

Al C. Moreau III, PT, MPT

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Al C. Moreau is the owner of Moreau Physical Therapy in Louisiana. He can be reached at al@moreaupt.com.

Practice, Location: Baton Rouge, Zachary, Central, Port Barre, and Opelousas, Louisiana Founded in 1977, Moreau Physical Therapy currently has eight outpatient clinic locations and six contracted management and therapy service sites including hospitals and industrial sites. We currently have over a hundred full- and part-time employees.

What is your most influential book/person/event that enhanced your professional career and give a brief description of why? The most influential person in my professional career has been my father, Al Moreau, Jr, who is a physical therapist. I followed him around as a child and was fascinated by the work he did with patients and knew I wanted to help people in the same way. Observing him taught me that patient care is as much about connecting with our patients personally as it is treating their physical deficits. People frequently stop me and tell me how much my father has helped them and the impact he has made in their lives. This type of patient care and service is what continues to drive our team to inspire and serve others.

Right Time, Right Place

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Physical therapy on Capitol Hill.

By Jerome Connolly, PT, CAE
April 4, 2015

The Private Practice Section (PPS) conducted its third successful Capitol Hill Lobby Day this past February. This year, our forces were fortified thanks to collaboration with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), which brought 25 additional physical therapists to Washington, D.C. Members of the APTA’s board of directors and the Payment Policy Advisory Committee joined the 72 PPS Key Contacts in walking the halls of Congress, conducting 185 meetings discussing the Medicare beneficiary therapy cap, payment rate, and locum tenens. Forty states and 105 unique House districts were covered by the total 97 attendees, many of whom met with their actual representative or senator.

The timing for this meeting, which was optimal, was established by the PPS board of directors and was heavily influenced by the looming March 31 deadline when the therapy cap would be fully implemented and Medicare reimbursement for outpatient services would be cut by more than 20 percent. The payment reduction is due to the expiration of the waiver of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) used to calculate the conversion factor for the Medicare physician fee schedule under which outpatient physical therapy services are paid.

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