Picture this: You’re at a basketball game with 30,000 screaming fans. The game’s tied and there are ten seconds left.
The arena is erupting. Everyone is yelling, screaming, clapping, and stomping. The rafters are shaking and you’re sure they can hear you three towns over.
Then, over the loudspeakers, you hear: Boom, boom, swish. Boom, boom, swish. Boom, boom, swish. And suddenly, like magic, the entire arena is in sync. Clap, clap, stomp. Clap, clap, stomp. Clap, clap, stomp.
As everyone sings along to “We will rock you,” an amazing thing has happened. Complete and utter chaos has been turned into an orderly, synchronized harmony.
Rhythm does that. It turns chaos into order. It creates alignment.
Running a growing health care service company takes alignment. In fact, alignment is the critical factor that separates companies that skyrocket from those that stall out.
It’s critical to your success and it never, ever happens by accident. The first step in creating alignment is creating a rhythm.
How Growing Health Care Service Companies Create Rhythm
1. Clarify Your Vision
No, not the sappy stuff written on your wall. I’m not talking about your mission. I’m talking about your vision. Here’s the difference: your mission defines who you are. Your vision defines where you’re going.
Without having a crystal clear understanding of where the company is going, your staff can never be aligned. The repetitive reinforcement of your vision is the drumbeat of your rhythm.
Set a very clear definition for your vision for the next year. For example:
- Get to 100 patients
- Open a new office
- Have 90%+ client happiness
- Grow to $5M in sales
Once you have that down, begin the daily practice of using that vision as a filter to answer questions. When a member of your team asks you a question, use it as an opportunity to reinforce the vision. Will that get us to 100 patients? Which option will help us grow to $5M in sales?
The constant reinforcement of your vision adds predictability. It’s an essential bedrock for your rhythm.
2. Schedule Your Alignment Meetings
The very best thing about rhythm is that it creates alignment. The second best thing is that it gives your staff something they crave: predictability.
Your team wants to know what it can expect from you and the company. They need to know how the company is doing and how they are personally doing. And, they must get this information in a highly predictable way.
That means you must establish a set of alignment meetings. For these meetings, your goals are:
- Get everyone on the same page
- Share relevant, timely information about the company
- Give people an opportunity to collaborate, without stepping on each others’ toes
- Get people un-stuck
- Reinforce the vision
The meetings are always at the same time and day. They are short. And, they follow a very tight agenda.
Growing senior care companies need three types of alignment meetings:
- Daily Huddle – A five-minute, stand up meeting every morning with a very tight agenda.
- Weekly Team Meeting – A one hour lunch meeting to focus on progress toward company goals and celebrate successes.
- Monthly Strategy Meeting – A two-hour meeting that dives deep into the strategic priorities of the company and resets goals as necessary.
Once you add these meetings to the calendar, you’ll hear the beginnings of your rhythm…boom, boom, swish.
3. Measure What’s Important
Measurement is a key to alignment. It provides an unemotional way to track progress toward your goals. It also gives your team a way to gauge their effectiveness without having to ask your approval.
Measurement also does something that nothing else can do: it makes the company goals tangible for each employee.
For instance, if you tell your scheduler that your goal is to do $5M in sales this year, she’ll likely give you a big smile and a high-five. Then she’ll go back to her desk and schedule shifts for the next seven hours. Unfortunately, she’ll have absolutely no idea how what she’s personally doing will contribute to the company’s goal.
What if you told her that she’s now in charge of counting unfilled shifts? She fills shifts every day, so she’s well aware that she has the ability to affect how many shifts go unfilled. If you explain to her how unfilled shifts affect your progress to your goal of $5M…viola! You have an aligned employee.
Once you’ve begun measuring what’s important, you’ll incorporate it into your alignment meetings. This has the added (and incredibly helpful) side effect of holding people accountable.
Your company’s rhythm is its heartbeat.
Your job is to intentionally focus on it, so that it supports your goals. Implement these three steps and you’ll be on your way to creating a successful rhythm for your growing health care service company.
Image credit: JMR Photography