Author Topic: Hiring A Manager  (Read 2198 times)

jcbilling

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Hiring A Manager
« on: May 20, 2011, 08:26:30 PM »
As I have experienced some growth, I am considering hiring a manager for some of the daily operations that are becoming too cumbersome for me.

I have found a very capable person who is currently managing the radiology dept of a hopsital of 84 employees and is interested in working this posiiton.

However, I currently work directly with my clients and want to maintain a strong connection. What are some things I can implement from the beginning so that it doesn't affect my client relationships. Also, what are some processes that you all have put in place to make sure that things aren't let go by a manager who may not be as interested in the affairs as the owner would be?

Thanks so much for all your insight!!

midwifebiller

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 11:33:50 PM »
While I do not have a general manager (still looking!), I have been able to delegate many of the daily tasks to others. Here's what I have learned.

Realize from the start that no one--NO one--cares about your business as much as you do. It's your baby and ultimately your responsibility. Delegate, but stay involved.

Be very specific as to what you want done, when you want it done and how.  Have as much on paper as possible.  Policies & Procedures have been a lifesaver for me. They read the manual first, I train them, they refer to the manual later.  The more detail you have for every step you want someone else to do, the better. Our P&P manuals not only have steps 1, 2, 3, etc., but computer screen shots, specific examples, timelines, schedules and checklists. And even with the best of written P&P, there will be errors.  Resist the urge to re-do imperfections yourself, rather bring it to his/her attention and ask them to correct their mistakes.

Meet regularly with your manager. Have a standing weekly appointment, and keep a record of what you discuss.  Any problems can be dealt with early if you are meeting regularly.

As for your clients, let them know you now have an assistant, but assure them that you are still available.  It will be hard for some of your clients, but courtesy calls and emails to check in on them will be greatly appreciated.  We email weekly reports to all of our clients and I have a "Memo" that goes with the reports. I also write an article that goes out with the monthly newsletter.

Good luck!
Kelli Sugihara, CPMB
Midwife Billing & Business, LLC
www.midwifebilling.com

jcbilling

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 02:36:34 PM »
Hi Kelli,

That was very helpful - thank you sooooo much!!

Any others?

Michele

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 03:32:41 PM »
Realize from the start that no one--NO one--cares about your business as much as you do. It's your baby and ultimately your responsibility. Delegate, but stay involved.

SO TRUE  ~  Best advice right here.  No matter how good they are, they will never care about it the same as you do.

Be very specific as to what you want done, when you want it done and how.  Have as much on paper as possible.  Policies & Procedures have been a lifesaver for me. They read the manual first, I train them, they refer to the manual later.  The more detail you have for every step you want someone else to do, the better. Our P&P manuals not only have steps 1, 2, 3, etc., but computer screen shots, specific examples, timelines, schedules and checklists. And even with the best of written P&P, there will be errors.  Resist the urge to re-do imperfections yourself, rather bring it to his/her attention and ask them to correct their mistakes.

Again, super advice!  I used to say (and still do!  shame on me!) it's easier to fix it and I'm being too picky.  But you MUST make them do it and do it the way you want them to.

Meet regularly with your manager. Have a standing weekly appointment, and keep a record of what you discuss.  Any problems can be dealt with early if you are meeting regularly.

Meet regularly, but don't take their word on everything!  Make sure you have some way of knowing that what they are saying is what they are doing.  I don't mean to sound like I don't trust anyone (can you tell I've been burned!).  You need to keep you hands in enough that you know what is going on even if you aren't the one doing it. 

As for your clients, let them know you now have an assistant, but assure them that you are still available.  It will be hard for some of your clients, but courtesy calls and emails to check in on them will be greatly appreciated.  We email weekly reports to all of our clients and I have a "Memo" that goes with the reports. I also write an article that goes out with the monthly newsletter.

Good luck!

Agree again, completely.  I still make random contact with clients to see how things are going and how they like "so-and-so".  I make sure they feel completely comfortable talking to me so if they are concerned or have an issue with the office manager then they will tell me.  If I know they are having an issue I will follow up to make sure they were ok with the way it was handled.  I encourage them to email me or even cc me when they email the office manager.  Then I know what the correspondence going back and forth is like.

Good luck with your search!
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jcbilling

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 06:38:48 AM »
Thanks Michele for the added input - I was hoping you would chime in!!

I'm taking notes and welcome any other advice!!

midwifebiller

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 11:49:24 PM »
I have received a couple of private requests for advice on Policies & Procedures since posting here.  Please forgive me for not answering in private, but I thought there may be more people with questions.

Each company will have their own unique P&Ps.  The software you use, the provider type you bill for, how many people are doing which work--it all varies from company to company. So, where to start? This was my process (still ongoing).

I made a list of the tasks I no longer wanted to do. Then I got a spiral notebook and kept it by my desk. When I started doing one of the tasks that I wanted to pass on to someone else, I wrote down each step. And I mean EACH step!  The purpose of having a procedure is to eliminate any 'creativity' among your employees or associates.  There should be no reason for them to say, "Oh, I didn't know that."  After going through this step about three times for the same task (I always seem to miss something the first couple of times), I put it in a document, numbered each step, and named the doc.  When I had time, I added screen shots if it had to do with our billing program. I also have deadlines for each procedure. (Billing goes out within XX hours, Report A, B and C are sent every Friday to all clients, etc.)  Then I sent it to a couple of my associates and had them try it out and give me feedback. After that, it becomes official. If, down the road, a problem comes up, I review the P&P to see if it needs more clarification. After a year of doing this, most of our procedures are down on paper--which really helps when we hire someone new.

You will also need P&Ps for everything everyone does.  As a simple example, here is our P&P for phone calls:
Phone policy

•   Always remember that it is The Midwife who keeps this company running. They are our clients, not our buddies, or even our friends, and our communication needs to reflect that.  Midwives give so much of themselves when they serve their community and they frequently are tired, worn down or even grouchy. They can always use a little TLC.  As one Texas midwife said, “I need to feel special.”  With this in mind, it our official policy to treat them like queens.  Be professional and extra kind in your telephone conversations with them, listen and commiserate with them, acknowledge births, deaths, and reasons to celebrate with them. There are several billing services that they can choose from—we want our client care (i.e., customer service) to stand above the competition.
•   When answering your business phone, please answer in a pleasant voice, saying, "Thank you for calling Midwife Billing and Business. This is [your name]. How may I assist you?" (If you have caller ID and can see that it is a colleague calling, you do not need to answer with the full greeting.) Even though we may answer the phone 153 times a day, we want our clients to know their phone call is the most important thing we can be doing at that moment.  We do not want to sound rote with our phone greeting.
 
•   Please set up a voicemail message if you haven't already done so. Your business phone voicemail should begin with "Thank you for calling Midwife Billing and Business". You are then free to invite the caller to leave a message how you see fit, as long as it is professional. It is our policy to return phone messages from our clients with 24 business hours. Please purchase and use a carbon-copy phone log and record every phone call. If there is follow-up, please record the follow-up taken and the date. I have had colleagues summoned to court and their phone log became very important in proving compliance.
 
•   Please check your voice messages at least once a day for the first three months, then twice a day.  It is a good business practice to have a set time or times during your work day dedicated to checking and returning phone calls. This will ensure all phone calls are returned in a timely manner and cut down on distractions while you are working on other projects.  If you find you have too many phone calls to keep up, or that they are interrupting your ability to work on other projects, please let Kelli know.


I hope this helps!

Kelli Sugihara, CPMB
Midwife Billing & Business, LLC
www.midwifebilling.com

Michele

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 09:40:34 AM »
Thanks for sharing that!  Very thorough and very good.  And VERY TRUE!  You MUST spell out EXACTLY how you want something done, and then make sure they are doing it that way.  No one will treat your business the way that you do, but if they want their job they will do what they are told.  So tell them how to do things and have it in a written policy.  I can say from experience, the people that you don't think will ever be a problem, are sometimes a problem, and having it in writing backs you up when you need to act.

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DMK

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2011, 11:02:10 AM »
Thank you Thank you! for addressing the phone manner!  When anyone takes on a customer service type job they should realize that their phone manner can make or break the business!  This includes staff at a doctor's office, billing service, and frankly, should include when people call a business to get services. 

The 1st conversation will entirely set the standard for the rest of the relationship.  I try really hard (even when I'm crabby or weepy) to always be pleased to hear that person's voice at the other end of the phone.  I'm enthusiastic and try to be as helpful and succinct as I can be.  It's easier!

PMRNC

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Re: Hiring A Manager
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2011, 07:51:51 AM »
DMK..that's exactly what I did for my P&P .. great advice. I did same with my compliance plan, break it down and create your own map/plan of attack :) 
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
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