Goal-Setting for Success with Your Chiropractic Teams
The year is young and possibilities seem endless. Charged-up from the holidays and much needed downtime, many of us are excited to fill in our new calendars, overcome last year’s obstacles, or rise to new heights. This time of the year is always brimming with fresh ideas and opportunities, but how do we turn New Year motivation into something sustainable? Just as you set resolutions or intentions for yourselves at the start of a new year, you can apply that same spark and determination to motivating your chiropractic team. By setting measurable, attainable goals with your team, you’ll not only help to give each individual a sense of purpose and clear course of action, you’ll also help to strengthen your chiropractic business and increase overall productivity.
We all put forth our best work when we feel connected to it, don’t we? And often our work feels meaningful when our actions are supporting something greater than ourselves. Setting and achieving goals is a way to stoke that fire in your team! According to an article from Forbes, “reaching goals is something that encourages employee engagement. Employees want to know how their position fits in with the other positions in the company. And, they want to learn how their work affects your business as a whole.”
In addition to setting company goals, consider having each employee in your practice set individual goals for the year as well as for the quarter. This should be done once organizational goals are already set in place and discussed so these individual goals can tie in to and support the bigger picture. Your employees want to feel that their work matters to your chiropractic business! They should feel supported but also be challenged by you in constructive and encouraging ways. Your employees want to feel valued and empowered in their workplace. Don’t you?
Perhaps you have already set your 2019 goals with your chiropractic team, and in that case, kudos! If you haven’t we hope you find some inspiration in this post that provides a focus for your next team meeting or chiropractic assistant team training. Regardless, we’d like to ask you if your goals for the year are S.M.A.R.T…
Create goals with clear and specific objectives! What’s the point in setting goals that are vague? Research by Locke & Latham, the creators of goal setting theory, found that in 90% of their studies conducted, specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than when people set goals that are too open-ended or no goals at all. Specific goals are straightforward and easy to plan for.
Alright, now you and your team have your goals. But are they measurable? This doesn’t have to mean in the traditional sense, using a scale or numeric system, but you are going to need a way to measure the success and completion of each of goal. Sounds daunting doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be! One way of helping to measure the success of some of your big goals, is to break them down into smaller, more manageable goals. So if your big goal is to increase your practice’s online presence, you can break that down into 1) increase Instagram followers by x amount by April, 2) redesign website, and 3) send 2 email newsletters per month, (for example). Tracking this progress will be meaningful and motivating for your employees.
Setting achievable goals is essential to your team’s success! Working toward impossible goals just creates unnecessary stress in your workplace, ultimately leading toward enormous blows to team morale and individual confidence levels. Again, break down big goals into smaller, bite-sized goals. When assigning organizational goals to team members, be mindful of who’s taking on what task. The goal should be attainable by that employee, but it should also stretch them in their present role.
As the leader and business owner, it is particularly important that you help your chiropractic assistants link their goals back to your broader business goals. One of the best ways to motivate your employees is to make sure they know how their work is contributing to the bigger picture. Employee goals should align with your overall business goals for consistency and relevancy.
When you were a kid, did you ever declare, “By the time I’m in college, I’ll know how to (blank)” or “By the time that I’m 30, I want to be (blank)”? Every goal needs a deadline! It’s not advantageous to you or your team to set a deadline too far in the future for a simple task, or an unrealistically short deadline for something complex and incredibly time-consuming. As the captain of your ship, you need to ensure for your own goals or those involving others, that an appropriate time frame is provided so neither you nor your team members are left feeling discouraged.
Ideally this framework will help provide clear purpose and direction when setting goals with your team. Here are a few other ideas to integrate along the way:
- Write your goals down. This may seem like an extra step to take, but people who go through the process of physically writing down their goals, are more likely to achieve them. Have your team members do the same. This can be done separately or as a part of your chiropractic team building.
- Follow up and reward. Whether or not each team member reaches their individual goals, it is still so important to check in regarding the process. Consider implementing a reward system for when individuals reach their goal or when you reach goals collectively as a team. If goals are met or exceeded, a reward can engage and encourage your team and also demonstrate your appreciation. Whether it’s a shout out at a meeting, a note of recognition, or a gift of some kind, the effort will send the message that your business rewards hard work. It will be helpful to set this up in your chiropractic team training, but you can introduce it at anytime.
- Work closely with employees who fall short. There are times when some of your CAs will be unable to attain their goals, regardless of how hard they try. Ideally, as a supervisor, you are checking in with their progress and stepping in to give guidance as needed along the way. In a situation where a deadline approaches and the agreed upon goal hasn’t been met, have a discussion with your employee. Help them own their shortcomings and ask them what went wrong. Encourage them to try again, and maintain a willingness to approach the goal from a different angle if necessary.