Ensuring practice success through effective training

Gary Smith is a medical practice manager with more than 30 years’ experience.

​As well as managing a 10-doctor general practice in Western Sydney, he also finds the time to sit on six boards and consult within the Health industry.

As an experienced medical practice manager, I’ve learnt a lot over the past 30 years about how to achieve success in my field and four key steps stand out as key to such success:

Empowering others

It’s important to lift yourself out of the day-to-day operations of a health practice by empowering other people to do some of the operational work for you.  When you do this, you free up your time to focus on the big picture and ensure the practice is meeting its business objectives.

​Adopting a leadership style focused around an empowerment process helps build trust in your relationships with other staff and allows the practice to flourish when you are not there. ​

Sharing what you know

I’m a great believer in the idea that the knowledge I’ve gained is not for me to keep. Knowledge is only as valuable as the number of people I can share it with because sharing such knowledge empowers others.

​Ongoing education and training is also a great motivator for people and allows them feel they are developing their individual skills while contributing to a thriving practice. ​

Delivering learning in diverse ways

It’s important to remember that people learn in different ways. For people to get the most out of their education and training, it needs to be delivered in a variety of ways, via different modalities, so that everyone can get the most out of the learning.

​To feel comfortable at work and perform to the best of their ability, people also need resources and tools to support them in their roles, along with a framework that recognises the value of educating and training them.  Practices that employ an education and training framework have been shown to create more motivated staff which in turn leads to higher staff retention and higher productivity.

Developing a learning culture

As you can see, building a learning culture within an organisation is paramount to its success. Such a culture can focus on formal learning based around roles and structures, or adopt a more informal approach to education and training. And remember that to create a successful learning culture within an organisation, you’ve got to start from the top down, meaning that the people leading the organisation must be on board.  It’s about taking the time to identify what skill sets are required for a practice to flourish and then taking that learning strategy and making it real through the delivery of different forms of training.

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