Summer is disruptive in a lot of ways. Vacations, kids out of school, and the general desire to be outside can make meetings and project implementation almost impossible. If you find yourself fighting an uphill battle to make progress it might be time to change tactics. You can reset your expectations and reduce the stress on your staff by making a few simple summer adjustments.
Switching your emphasis from all-staff meetings to give attention to individual staff members can set your practice up for great success for the fall and year end. If you use the summer to invest in staff members one at a time you’ll reap the rewards when the whole team is together and refreshed from summer vacations and activities. Consider these tips.
Rather than meetings, give individual assignments. When schedules are riddled with missing staff members due to vacations or other summer activities it’s best to give individual assignments. Whether it’s research or planning a future implementation, your staff will benefit from the single focus. Take time to coach them. Give them detailed instructions and then follow up. Assign deadlines and challenge each individual to improve.
Rather than implementing new changes, create a fall/winter roll-out calendar. Use the summer to prepare staff for changes but avoid making the changes till fall. As hard as we try to stay focused, the summer always pulls at our attentions. Use this time to create a roll out schedule that helps staff plan for their various duties. If you are not making any changes (does that ever happen?), use the time to step back from your practice and evaluate. Make a list of questions to challenge yourself and your practice. Are your policies clear? Are your processes as efficient as they can be? Is your practice operating at maximum profitability?
Rather than creating new policy or process, train individuals on those that exist and will not change. Schedule individual training sessions to help staff stay current. You’ve probably noticed some need for improvement in areas or among staff members. Key in on these and strive to perfect them. If staff can be proficient on the things that won’t change it will give them more bandwidth to concentrate on new items. Practice is always a good thing. Help each of your staff members pinpoint where they need improvement and challenge them. Ask them to pay special attention to items that are not efficient or up to date with best practices. Make a note to address these later with the entire staff.
Summer is a time of special opportunity for self and staff improvement, planning, and individual training. If you will embrace the changes that summer brings, your staff will appreciate your approach and you’ll make great strides toward peak performance and enjoyment! Now go enjoy some sunshine!