It’s hard to believe, but 2021 is already almost over. Time to start thinking about your 2022 goals. But before that, it’s important to take one last look at your 2021 goal performance, as well as an end-of-year team evaluation. This will help you discover what goals you should tackle in 2022 and ensure your team is in the right place.
If you set SMART goals at the beginning of 2021, use those same action items and measurables to see what you’ve accomplished and what’s still leftover. Are you on track? Are you ahead or behind schedule? If you’re behind or not on track, what obstacles or issues are getting in the way? What’s the best way to clear those obstacles?
If you have achieved your action items in some areas, reward yourself (and your team). Share these successes with your team and what progress has been made. This will help keep everyone excited and motivated to keep moving forward. On the other side, evaluate what things you have yet to achieve or are struggling with. Try to lock down why, so you can find a solution for the remainder of the year (or into 2022). Are your resources available to meet these goals (time, money, knowledge, team support) good enough or is a lack of resources the problem? Or perhaps these goals/action items aren’t top priorities anymore?
That will be important for determining what unfinished goals can carry over in 2022 and which can be discarded. Now’s the time to consider that and adjust accordingly (and we’ll talk more about 2022 goal planning in our next blog).
This time of year is also a good chance to see where your team is at – where they’ve succeeded this year and what areas need a little more work. In addition to individual team member reviews, you should consider your team performance as a whole. What should you be evaluating and is the team staying on track?
When looking at team performance as a whole this year, identify key performance indicators (KPIs) if you haven’t already that tie into your overall practice goals and individual team member goals. For example, if you want to increase net collection percentage, set KPIs related to your team’s time and effort in collecting accounts receivable in a timely manner. Define KPIs based on your team structure and practice size, then you can determine if you are exceeding, struggling or meeting your goals as a team so far. This approach will also provide greater efficiency when you do more in-depth individual evaluations and show what additional actions, resources and education may need to be a part of your 2022 plan. When sharing team performance feedback, communicate the results clearly and directly, and adjust your action items as needed.
Your team can’t thrive without the right culture around them. So as you look back at the year, it’s worth reviewing and monitoring team morale. Ideally, you want a culture that supports a positive environment, creates open communication with one another and shows your support for the team as a leader. Assessing your team culture as a whole can be challenging without getting collective, individual feedback, so take the time to get your team’s thoughts on the subject. Their attitude through their answers, engagement and follow-up questions can be a helpful indicator of your overall culture.
When evaluating this year and looking forward, don’t forget to make sure your team has the right resources and educational opportunities to succeed. As you know, there are many actions that take place in your practice that your team has to be well-trained for. These include world-class care, system utilization, phone training, using the right body language, patient engagement, conflict resolution and so on. There’s a lot to know, so make sure your team members are well equipped and knowledgeable. If you saw an issue with any of those areas this year, are there resources available relating to those areas that team members can use to advance? You can also consider implementing cross-training within your team. From answering phones to educating patients and collecting payments, you can help each team member have a fundamental understanding of all practice operations. Then if an emergency comes up and you need to pull in a different team member to another area, they can jump in and help. This will help create and maintain more productivity and efficiency, even when someone is out sick, on PTO, etc.
If you need some extra help hitting your goals and supporting your team, we’re always a phone call or click away to support your needs. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!