Should CAs Be Taken to Seminars?

Dr. Tory Robson

Dr. Tory Robson

Chiropractic Practice Success Consultant

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Many doctors bring their entire team to every event. Can you guess which offices in the group are the most successful? We have other doctors whose teams are never seen at any events, and they suffer because of it.

Does a well-trained and integrated team perform better than one with less training?

We recommend that the doctor bring their team to major events at least several times a year. It builds the team and creates an educated and highest trained staff possible.

Paying for these events: We simply have the team member include the hours for the event itself in their hours for the week. So if a seminar was seven hours on a Saturday, they add seven hours onto their pay. If it happens to be over 40 hours for the week, then those hours would be paid at time and a half. Very simple.

It is important to understand any employment rules in your state and have your employment attorney advise you should any changes need to be made. When a staff member is hired we have it in our Office Policy manual that we are going to attend events. They are required as part of their continuing education for their job. Attending events is a BONUS. It is all expense paid training that the person can benefit from forever.

It’s an honor and privilege to be invited to high level doctor trainings.

It used to be no teams were allowed at anything.

They may not be able to make every single event, but they should be excited. Good CAs want to learn and grow. I know an office is in trouble when I hear that the staff members are saying “they don’t wanna go to events” or that they’re too busy all the time.

No staff will ever look at your clinic like you do, but they must have some desire to learn and get better.

We have to be very careful. Your staff can be very determined in their beliefs. Their wants may be stronger than what you want or know what is best. A singe CA or team can actually take over your practice.

If you have an assistant who now wants to get done with work at 4 o’clock on Tuesday so she can go to soccer practice with her son, and you agree to it, you just agreed that an employee’s son is running your practice and controlling your hours. Think about how true this is.

We want to be nice. We want to be agreeable. That is the problem. Our responsibility is to the patients, never to the team. Sounds harsh but that’s the way it is in all sports and high level business.

An NFL player with a game on Thanksgiving Day says: “My wife wants me home for Thanksgiving this year.” Never gonna happen.

Yeah but what we do is not as big as that. Oh is it? Running a ball up and down a field for points is more important than your 143 people coming in so you can save their life and future with chiropractic care?

Our responsibility is to our patients and having the best team for every patient on every visit. Sometimes good people have to be let go if they can’t meet the requirements for the position any longer.

Some employees may start out full-time and everything is going great and two years later they’ve got the most janky schedule you’ve ever seen because they got you to bend. It always makes a huge mess in the office. Sometimes the doctor is afraid to let them go because they don’t know what they would do without them, because the CA “knows how to do everything.”

There are many convoluted messes that are possible here. I have employee disaster stories that would be so entertaining and take an entire day to talk about. This is bit off the subject on Seminars and Training, but the underlying principle is the same. When you turn the practice wheel to the right, you want everyone going to the right. And when you stomp on the practice gas, you do not want some CA digging their heels in to slow it down.

All CAs will want to start taking over the practice over time. Changing their hours, doing the work they like and avoiding other work, missing events, becoming friends with patients, dealing with patients on social media, playing the music they like, using smells they like, colors on the walls they like, art they like, gaslighting the doctor, undermining the doctor or other team member, one small dig or comment at a time. And 100 other things. Whoever has the strongest “frame” is who controls the space.

That must be YOU!

We want to avoid these by having everything clear well ahead of time. The Office Policy can state: If at any time an employee is unable to work the position hours and meet the job requirements spelled out here, then it will be recommended they seek employment elsewhere and that they will be replaced.

Fair hours, great team meetings, great team huddles, some seminars and Zooms. If a person is unable to meet these requirements, it is absolutely okay to let those people go. They can find another place to try and make their own schedule.

Notice, the CAs have appointments with every patient also. So we must have the team in position and ready to go for every patient on every visit.

You control your practice. It is called a “benevolent dictatorship.” Be nice, but follow your plan, not theirs. Key word is control. You will grow to your level of CONTROL.

Yes, we take the team to as many events as possible. We train. We are nice, but we also have goals, we have a plan. We are nicely in CONTROL. We are here to make the best experience we can for every patient on every visit. Whatever it takes to do this is “primo importante!”

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