As healthcare paradigms have continued to shift, so have the roles of office managers. Your office managers are tasked with ensuring that your practice operates smoothly on a day to day basis. However, as new needs and processes arise, your office managers have to shift their normal processes to accommodate these changes.
Training can be very beneficial in supporting your office managers through necessary changes and helping them adapt more quickly. In Episode 24 of our Paradigm Shift of Healthcare podcast, we interviewed Cheryl Toth, a consultant for Karen Zupko & Associates and creator of the Medical Office Learning Lab. Cheryl explained how training can help office managers adapt to change, which benefits the practice overall.
How Office Managers Can Benefit from Training
Whether an office manager is new, or has been the manager for several years, training can help in developing the right skills for the job. Often, office managers move into their role from a lower-level position at the practice. They may need to acquire new skills to be effective in the office manager position, just as anyone does when they move up to a higher level at work.
Even if your office manager is experienced, the needs of your practice may be shifting. There is more and more pressure on practices to adopt new technologies like online appointment scheduling, EMR, and digital versions of paperwork. Your office manager might be very experienced and efficient in the manual, on-paper way of doing things, but lack the technical skills needed to adopt these new technologies. Training can help your office manager gain the skills needed to feel confident in adopting those new technologies.
Being an effective office manager also requires the right mindset. Office managers who have a “get it done” mentality may find themselves overwhelmed and overworked because they feel unable to delegate tasks to other staff members. By shifting that mindset and learning how to delegate, office managers can ensure that everything gets done, while helping to foster new skills and development of the office staff. Empowered staff will also lead to greater job satisfaction, which makes for a better work environment for everyone.
Moving from a Manager Mentality to a Coach Mentality
In the podcast interview, Cheryl explained how training can move office managers from a manager mentality to a coach mentality. When office managers move from a position where they were the “doer,” it can be hard to change that mindset. The right training can help practice managers move into that coaching role.
For an office manager to have a coaching mentality, it means to support, develop, and engage the office staff, rather than just doling out tasks. By learning to effectively engage office staff, office managers can unlock the potential of those employees. An effective coach recognizes the strengths and potential of each employee and provides the support needed for those employees to grow those skills even further.
Part of being a good office manager is learning to delegate, but that really involves more than just handing over work to an employee and telling them to get it done. You have to take the time to show the employee how to do it, and keep checking in to make sure they are catching on. You have to be there to coach your employees through any transitions needed to take on new tasks. When an office manager has a coaching mentality, they recognize that it will take time for employees to really own new tasks, and the answer is not to just do it themselves to get a faster result. It’s about giving the employees the support and guidance they need to improve.
For many other jobs and positions, training is an important part of taking on a new role. For an office manager, technical skills only cover one side of the equation. If your office manager has training that enables them to take on a coaching mindset, this not only benefits the office manager, but all of your employees and the practice as a whole.
To learn more about how training can help your office managers and options for providing training, check out our podcast episode with Cheryl Toth.