It’s common for current employees to feel scared, insecure, or intimidated by the transition process so building those interpersonal connections is of the utmost importance. Here are some ways you can do that.
An Honest One-On-One Meeting
The biggest sources of employees’ negative feelings will involve the potential changes that you, as the new practice owner, may introduce. The changes that could evoke negative emotions are the things that affect the employee directly: benefits, working hours, roles and responsibilities, or even keeping their jobs at all. Have a private discussion with each staff member to address these issues directly and as they relate to the employee in question.
Tell each staff member what is expected of him or her, and what your practice philosophy will be. In the event that certain decisions have not yet been made, let the employee know when the decision will be reached. Transparency and honesty form a great foundation for an effective working relationship.
Schedule Individual Training Sessions
Perhaps you worked with a super efficient receptionist in the past, or an extremely diligent nurse who ran your previous practice like clockwork. Whatever the circumstance, you may want to introduce some changes to processes and behaviors.
Hold individual training sessions with each staff member to explain your expectations within each person’s designated role. Don’t expect people to change their habits or behaviors overnight.
The employees who have been with the practice the longest are likely to have a good rapport with the patients. They will also have witnessed a different management style, so when you are building a new culture, it is worth taking feedback from the staff.
Check Employee Files
Have a look at each employee’s record. If the previous practice owner was well organized you should be able to tell a fair amount about each person. This is a good time to ensure all paperwork is up to date and compliant.
Ask for 360 Degree Feedback
Ask the outgoing practice owner to write character profiles on the staff. Find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Ask how well they function within a team. Ask staff members to evaluate different members of the team.
Don’t worry about timing. Transitions can go slowly and when people are involved moving slowly has more long term benefit than rushing ahead.