Article

STAFF TRAINING

Frequency + Format

Adding training to your staff meeting agenda

In the Eyecare Business 2018 Reader Survey, 51% of your peers said staff training is the No. 1 area they need to focus on more. The biggest question? How and where do I fit ongoing staff training into our practice’s calendar?

One of the best ways, according to many of your peers, is to integrate training into staff meetings. “You can really target specific training needs in staff meetings,” says Mary Schmidt, ABOC, trainer and president of EyeSystems in Pleasant Hills, CA. “Have an agenda and focus on solutions, not situations.”

WHAT + WHEN

Some say semi-monthly works, and others suggest quarterly infusions of training. The majority, however, say making training a key part of regularly scheduled monthly staff meetings works best.

Here’s what a few of your peers have to say:

A MIX. Schmidt recommends lunch + learn quarterly and monthly staff meetings, whether by department or full staff.

QUARTERLY. Michael Miller, ABOC, director of Eyewear Retail at South Jersey Eye Physicians in Moorestown, NJ, says, “We have quarterly meetings with a guest speaker at each to include training as a focus of our time together. Additionally, we have dedicated staff time devoted to training seminars.”

MONTHLY. Mario Gutierrez, O.D., F.A.A.O., explains that at Vision Source Alamo Heights in San Antonio, his large, three-doctor practice, “As best we possibly can, we try to meet once a month by department.”

WHERE + HOW

Lunchtime is prime time for staff and training sessions.

IF IT’S TUESDAY. “I’ve always wanted for everybody to overlap,” says Laura Miller, O.D., owner of Northwest Hills Eye Care in Austin, TX, “so in our office we all meet together. We close for lunch every Tuesday for staff time.

“The fourth Tuesday of the month is totally geared toward training. Everybody is part of it so that everyone can understand. Other weeks we may, among other things, have reps come in and talk to staff.”

LUNCH + LEARN. “It’s a great way to do training,” agrees Eric White, O.D., founder of Complete Family Vision Care Optometry in San Diego. “We have monthly lunch meetings with different reps. They bring lunch and for about 45 minutes they talk to staff and doctors about what’s new. I have found this to be a great learning tool...and we all get lunch!”

Schmidt agrees. “These are great to give a foundation of knowledge, reinforce existing knowledge, clarify product-specific questions, and educate on new product details.”

—STEPHANIE K. DE LONG