Modeling: Interactions with professionals and prospective patients and families are demonstrated in their entirety for team members so they can see how the skills taught in training are applied to real-life situations. Team members are encouraged to provide feedback as if they are a coach. This part of the modeling technique results in team members comparing what they observed during the customer interaction with what they learned in the class room.
Observation and feedback: In this technique, the coach passively participates in the interaction with the customer and then provides feedback on the performance of the team member. Administrators are encouraged to observe interactions with customers regularly because they have in-depth knowledge of their facilities and services and can ensure that their admissions/marketing teams are educating customers properly. I encourage leaders to remember that coaching should be a positive experience; criticism that is not balanced by their observations of what went well with a customer contact is demoralizing and results in team members being less receptive to feedback.
Strategizing and follow-up: In this technique, the coach strategizes with team members about upcoming customer contacts and then conducts a debriefing on how the customer contact went and then provides feedback and suggestions for improvement.
5 BEST PRACTICES FOR EXECUTION
I encourage the following best practices to help you and your team remain focused on the MIP/SMP:
1. Communicate your census goals to the entire team
A very successful administrator once told me that buy-in from all of your team members is critical to reaching any goal. Although all of your team members can’t participate in the creation of the MIP/SMP, they should be aware of your census goals.
2. Keep department heads involved in the MIP/SMP development process
Your plan to improve census should be created with the participation and buy-in from all of your department heads. Your department heads usually have contacts in the market whom you may want to target for development. Also, nearly all of your department heads will have a part in the successful execution of marketing tactics such as open houses, special events and tours. I am particularly excited when I see food service departments catering lunches for physicians’ offices and other special events. Department heads who are not committed to your census goals and the strategic marketing plan can and will undermine their successful execution.
3. Hold weekly, monthly and quarterly marketing meetings
Once your plan to improve census is created, hold regular meetings to track your progress toward completion of the individual action items to which your team has committed.