I Need a Manager, Quick!

By Lisa Mackell, MPT

Few things can disrupt a smoothly running clinic like a manager exit. As practice owners, it is easy to find yourself desperate for a new manager to take-over as soon as possible, especially when we are faced with assuming their duties. However, this should not be a knee-jerk reaction, and requires careful thought and consideration on your part.

A mistake that many practice owners make is promoting your best therapist to manager. It is important to consider your candidate’s qualities of leadership, time and stress management, and delegation abilities, as well as the personality traits that you require as an owner. Strong clinical skills do not always make a strong manager. Here are a few steps that can assist you in the promotion of internal staff to management.

First, examine past performance reviews of each candidate. What are their strengths and weaknesses as they relate to a management role? Develop a questionnaire with sample management challenges or the management philosophy that you value, and have each potential candidate complete this questionnaire. This process can provide valuable insight on their thought processes before you schedule formal interviews. Finally, consider how each candidate engages with existing staff members, and how they may handle advancement among their peers.

Take your time – this is not a decision that should be rushed or taken lightly. Nevertheless, this is an excellent opportunity for both your staff and your practice when the decision is an excellent one. 

Lisa Mackell

Lisa Mackell, MPT, is a CSM committee chair and founded a pediatric private practice, Theraplay, which she was President at until she recently retired in May of 2020. Lisa can be reached at lisammackell@gmail.com.

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