Who Runs The Show?
Staffing issues abound. By far, it is the number one complaint of employers and the reason I am most contacted for consulting. It goes something like this. You have a successful practice and are turning away business. You decide it is time to branch out, hire someone and take a cut of building someone else’s business. You interview and find an appropriate candidate. The fit seems good for your practice. The massage skills are apparent and the person seems “nice”. Lo and behold, you have hired your first staff. Perhaps you have even done this a few times and have several staff members at this point.
And then personalities come into play. This one doesn’t like that one. That one is always late, breezing in past clients in the waiting room minutes before her scheduled appointment. Perhaps the person who shares your room doesn’t leave it as clean as you would like. Maybe the furniture gets moved and now there are scratches on your hardwood floors. Does anyone else empty the trash but you? Rule number one of employment…. no one will care about your business as much as you.
Equally important to good hands and a nice personality is business acumen. This vital skill can help run your business smoothly or can frustrate you beyond words. Time and time again, I consult with people who have staff that drives them crazy, takes advantage of them and runs the show. There is no fool proof way to avoid this but consider asking business questions during the interview process. Propose business situations and case studies and ask for solutions and feedback. The responses can be very telling. If you don’t like what you hear, don’t hire that person. Although business acumen can be taught, there is an inherent personality type that either has it or doesn’t.
Consider weekly staff meetings. Even if it is just you and one other therapist, meet on a regular basis to discuss what is working, what isn’t working and air any greivances. Grudges can bring a business down and toxicity can spread to clients. Make it clear when hiring that these meetings are mandatory and schedule them accordingly. Sure it is time consuming and can seem like a drag, but make it a priority. You set the tone and the rules. You run the show.