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What Am I Supposed to Be Doing?


Dear Sharyn,

My front desk coordinator of 2 years seems overwhelmed by the job. She seems unfocused and today asked me what her priorities are. I told her she needed to answer the phone, keep the schedule full and collect payments. But she gives me a deer in the headlights look.

T.H., OH

Dear T.H.

She looked confused, because you gave her a sky-high response to her question about priorities.  She wasn’t really asking, What am I supposed to be doing? but HOW am I supposed to do this? and HOW will I know if I’ve done a good job?  She needs specific expectations that defines the desired measurable results. For example, instead of “answer the phones” she needs an expectation like this:

  1. Answer 90% of calls within 3 rings, greeting callers with your name, the name of the practice and a question about how you can help so that callers are reassured about our quality, friendliness and professionalism.
  2. Convert 80% of inquiries into new patient appointments. Track those who don’t appoint and call them within 2 months to see if they will come in.

Ideally, these expectations are codified in a job description. Once you have created these expectations, meet with her to analyze the gap between what she is doing now and what you want her to be doing. Then create a plan to close that gap.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

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