In your practice (or office) manager, you want someone who will aspire to greatness. The backbone of your practice, your practice manager has a demanding and visible position requiring a broad range of experience. This is why hiring your office manager should never be a "cross your fingers" dilemma. In fact, the opposite is true: Review the big picture and then move to a specific hiring methodology.
Today’s practice manager must possess not only a strong knowledge of office management and operations, but also the ability to assist in the development and implementation of the office strategy.
Look for a team-oriented leader who can partner with you in focusing the energy of the practice toward continued success—someone who is dynamic and energetic, with a strong desire for personal achievement as well as staff success.
Most of us can list job responsibilities but may be unable to list what makes a good leader. A great practice manager will demonstrate the following traits:
- Industry knowledge—Fulfilling the responsibilities of an office manager requires a clear understanding of the industry, including technology, retail sales, marketing, and customer service.
- Loyalty—Whether or not you promote from within or hire from outside your practice, your manager must always act in the best interest of you and your practice. If he or she wants to be "one of the gang," supervisory responsibilities and loyalties will be compromised.
- Fairness—A successful leader has the ability to objectively handle uncomfortable situations, be they conflicts among coworkers or with unhappy patients, for example.
- Business acumen—Profit-and-loss statements, existing systems and programs, financial policy, and patient financing are a few of the key issues your practice manager must understand.
- Confidentiality—A valued manager is one who scrupulously maintains the confidentiality required for financial, patient, and employee information.
- Honesty—Your manager will set the standard and become the role model for your practice. It has been said, "Who lies for you will lie against you."
- Professionalism—A professional appearance and matching behavior is key. After you, your practice manager is the "face" of your entire business. He or she should look and act the part.