In the summer months, as temperatures climb to staggering heights, office productivity levels can dip to all-time lows. Work is often far from top of mind as employees plan their summer activities. But medical practices can’t afford to put their operations on hold for months while employees trade in patient calls for beach towels and sunscreen. Although practices should encourage their teams to make the most of their summer, it’s equally important to lay down ground rules so that patients’ appointments and their needs continue to be met. Staff shortages are felt more keenly in smaller teams and lead to an uneven distribution of work among those who stay behind.
No practice wants to find itself in a position where half of its workforce is on vacation at the same time and just a few employees are left to pick up the slack. With the right combination of communication guidelines and digital collaboration tools, healthcare organizations can maintain business as usual without interrupting anyone’s summer plans.
Digital Connectivity and Communication Are the Keys to a Productive Summer
To maintain morale, some practices offer summer half-day Fridays as an incentive for employees to finish their work before mentally (and physically) checking out.
Communication between employees and employers is crucial to maintaining productivity during the dog days of summer. Observing basic courtesies, like giving managers two weeks’ notice before leaving for vacation, ensures assignments are fairly delegated to coworkers and prevents office delays. Maintaining an open dialogue between teams can prevent unexpected absences and reassure supervisors that work is getting done on time.
So before your employees set off to take advantage of the warm weather, consider these three tips to set your office up for a fun and productive summer season.
3 Ways Practices Can Keep Communications Flowing and Productivity High During Summer Months
1. Over-Communicate with Everyone
To avoid confusion and workflow disruptions, set ground rules such as giving advanced notice before employees take vacation time so managers can account for fluctuating employee availability. Once schedules are established, employees should let managers know the best way to contact them on vacation if needed and make arrangements for coworkers to cover specific tasks or inbound requests while they’re out. This guarantees that supervisors and employees are on the same page about how and when work will be completed during the summer months.
2. Support Flexible Working
While most practices can’t give employees two months of summer vacation, providing flexible work options can make your team happier and more productive. Summer hours can not only contribute to a healthier work-life balance, they also serve as an extra incentive for employees to meet deadlines and complete assignments on time.
3. Adopt Robust Communication Tools
To balance summer work hours and practice needs, practices can set up patient communication tools that don’t require extra staff time. Automated appointment reminders are a great way to efficiently and effectively deliver high volumes of patient phone, email and text appointment reminders without overburdening your staff or breaking the budget. On-hold messaging allows you to communicate summer hours with patients. Pre-recorded messages also allow you to share information with patients about new products, treatment options or any new summer specials you are offering.
As the temperature rises and summer really kicks off, it can be difficult for practices to keep productivity from plummeting. But using the right combination of workday flexibility and digital connectivity and communication tools ensures practices get the most out of their employees despite the busy vacation season. By leveraging these tools and encouraging a more autonomous workplace, practices can keep their teams engaged even during the dog days of summer.
To learn more about automated patient communications, check out 5 Signs Your Practice Should Adopt Automated Patient Communication.