How to get clear and compliant when growing your team.

As my private practice coaching expands the two questions that I hear the most are:

  • What will the NDIS mean for my business?
  • How do I engage staff correctly?

In my mind, the questions and therefor the answers are closely related. The NDIS will provide more children with more funding, but the funding will be different. Funding will be issued on the child’s functional challenges and needs, rather than their diagnosed disability. A comprehensive plan and set of unique goals will sit central to funding allocation and agreed service provision. Subsequently, the child’s team members will need to be communicative and driven by best practice, family centred practice and measurable results. Private practices serving children and families need to ready themselves with the right services delivered by the right people.

Some tough business planning may be necessary to design responsive service delivery models. For some practices this may demand a differently skilled and change ready workforce. Think about answering the questions “what will our services look like?” and workforce planning “who will deliver these great services?” Go for gold, draw up your ideal service offer and your dream team. Perhaps a more flexible and innovating crew will get you standing out, for instance, I wonder if the days of 9.00 – 5.00 are gone. Allied health professionals will need to be fabulous team wide communicators, highly organised, readily mobile and clear on the concept of billable hours. This may represent a thinking shift for many. Recruitment adverts are looking different already, we are reading more about people skills AND clinical excellence. Then you will need legally correct paperwork to secure your handpicked team.

Most business owners are keen to employ and or contract their therapy and admin staff correctly. The right paperwork at the right time is needed ongoing across the lifespan of your staff. For starters, it will be necessary to have a person specification and interview record sheet on hand when you interview. If you have provided the position description to the interviewee then that will need to be in the pile of papers as well. The referee check is important, it helps to have set questions and space to record the referee’s comments, rolling forward, this document will be one of the early pieces in the file you start on each of your staff members. On the topic of position descriptions there is tremendous value in reviewing them annually with your team, this keeps them current and aligned with your service delivery offer.

The agreement that you provide to new employees and contractors needs to be written in plain English, legally compliant and fully understood by both parties. It is critical that you are fluent on state and federal awards and entitlements, if not fluent then willing to update yourself. As a business owner, from the moment the contract is signed the obligations escalate. Policies and procedures on induction, safety, performance management, and professional development to name but a few all swing into action. I get that this is a lot of work and quite daunting for the frantic business owner, but it is essential, and the task can be eased with the use of solid advice and HR templates.

Luckily we have HR advice and practical support at our fingertips. Your State may have a small business association, or you may have a practice local council that provide advice, workshops, networking and guest speaker events. Some of your solutions may be sitting in these great events, or maybe you need to contact a colleague or mentor. A reasonable amount of up to date information is available on line, colleagues and friends will have lived experiences and suggestions. However nothing beats hearing the right information from the right person at the right time.

Cheryl_DisherA self-described HR Veteran Cheryl Disher will be presenting at the Paediatric Private Practitioner Forum, 25 July 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. Her working knowledge of recruitment, entitlements, contracts, federal and state updates, performance management, releasing staff is extraordinary. Best of all, Cheryl makes it understandable and relevant to in this case small business. Cheryl’s knowledge is on only surpassed by her and business partner’s generosity to share information and guide business owners, there is loads of good stuff on their website. Better still come and listen to Cheryl speak at the Paediatric Private Practice Forum, you are invited to come armed with questions. We look forward to great content and having Paediatric Private Practice problems shared and solved.

Read more and register here, sorry, but tickets are limited.

Please get in touch if you would like to chat further.

Cathy Love

Occupational Therapist, Disability Service Consultant, Coach, Facilitator.


M:          0488 316 319


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