Blog, Chirosecure Live Event April 11, 2021

Connecting People – A Team Driven Practice Ankur Prakash, DC

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.

Oh, chiropractic connecting people and communities with this week’s host Dr. Ankur Prakash as Dr. Ankur says, and I quote with integrated medical and wellness offices in both New York city and Raleigh, North Carolina. I have created what many chiropractors and wellness doctors have always dreamed of having a team driven office that addresses the cause of this ease naturally. And now here’s Dr. Ankur.

Awesome. Thanks Dr. Stu, thanks ChiroSecure for hosting me and putting me into your inclusion program, really excited about your vision behind it, and to be able to, uh, kind of share my story or my journey, uh, you know, 20, 24 years now has gone by so fast, but yet I can still remember it as if it was last week or last month. So, um, I think, I think today’s episode has that already put into the, uh, the planning stages was to talk about just my, my journey, but also kind of start to dive into like my thoughts on how I run my team and how they run me. And it’s a as a team driven approach. Uh, so I got a couple of slides here that I’m going to end up sharing a quick introduction to myself. Uh, my name is Ankur Prakash. Uh, you know, Dr.

Hoffman already introduced me as the, as, uh, having practices both in New York, New York and Raleigh, North Carolina, as you can see now, if we can go ahead and share those slides, uh, here’s my, uh, two locations, there’s one right in New York, New York Manhattan. We opened that up in 2004 and then four years ago. In fact, we just had our four year anniversary last week. We opened up our Raleigh North Carolina office, and that’s the address down in there. So 17 years in New York, four years in Raleigh, North Carolina, we’ve got a dozen or so employees in each office. And one of the things that I kind of want to dive into first, before I go into how to attract an, a player and how to keep them is just, just are we, we’re no longer getting into our vision. We’re no longer getting into our mission or our purpose.

We kind of just broke it down into like, Hey, what is this company really, really passionate about? What do we love to talk about? What do we love to sell? And so we kind of dive in there and kind of broke that down into a very short statement and it’s to provide natural health solutions that facilitate healing. So that that’s huge. That’s got a lot of statements in there. First of all, it’s gotta be natural. It can’t be a part of my living well balanced, if it’s not, and it’s got to facilitate healing. And this is the part that I’ve known, that a lot of my colleagues, a lot of, um, or friends of mine and even acquaintances have struggled with having multiple services, right? Because, you know, I, I graduated from life West in 2004. Um, at that, you know, I consider myself, uh, an ultra straight chiropractor.

I was president of the straight chiropractic fraternity. I was involved in a lot of straight chiropractic organizations and that that’s evolved in the sense that I’ve now grown my office into a medical wellness center. But the one thing that will still hold true, and this is a picture of a quote, that’s right above my door or right above it. My office, every single new patient sits in my office for a consultation, whether it’s with me or another employee. And they’ve got to review that quote, right? It’s very straight forward. All the chiropractors that are looking at this know this forwards and backwards, but the power that made the body heals the body, it’s gotta be something that you’re passionate about. I will not hire an employee that does not believe that to be true 100% of the time, even if we bring on any new practice members in our office, right.

We don’t call them patients. We call them practice members, but that is the number one thing that we go through because, Hey, that’s what we’re passionate about is the power that made the body heals the body. So that’s, that’s our passion for the office. When we get into like what our niche is like, just what are the things that make us really, really unique. And it’s the fact that we have all of these things under one roof, right. And when I first started this, uh, back in 2009, 2010 in New York, uh, there was those phrases that’s, you know, Hey, have a one-stop shop and on the surface, yes, those are nice. Um, we were also told that while you have a very big, uh, multidisciplinary practice and I’m like, nah, I don’t really, I’m not a big fan of multi-disciplinary either because a lot of medical places have multidisciplinary.

They have a person that’s looking at the kidneys on one office, another person that’s looking at the lungs and other person, that’s looking at some other pathology, but they’re not multi D they’re just multidisciplinary. They’re not integrated. So our niche, if you can see that on the side screen, it says it’s customized integrative health care in an all inclusive experience. So again, those are some pretty deep headed words, but for us being integrated means that we share each other’s notes and records. We share each other’s collaborative efforts. So there’s a massage therapist that’s working on someone. And then that person now goes to a personal trainer, or if they go to the chiropractor or the physician assistant, everything’s gotta be trickled down, everything’s gotta be communicated, uh, with each other. Uh, and, and that’s what makes it integrative. And it also makes it collaborative. Um, and of course, customized, we use that word very, very, very strategically because we let people know that we don’t have a cookie cutter treatment plan for headaches or for neck pain or for fixing upper and lower cross syndrome.

Yes. A lot of it does, you know, parallel other care plans for, but everything is customized. And we show that to every single new practice member that, that starts care with us, whether they’re coming just for chiropractic or whether they’re coming for all these other services. So speaking of the services, so let’s go ahead and just kind of map those out. Uh, again, those of you that are going to check out the website, I think they’re going to put out our contact information there. Um, in, in the Raleigh office, we do have medical, uh, in both offices, we have chiropractic care, we’ve got massage therapy. We have our personal trainers where, what we call corrective exercise specialist, doing rehab, also stretching they’ll even get into personal training. Uh, both offices have a nutritional therapist, so we’re not looking at dietician or nutritionist. We’re looking at a licensed nutritional therapist that’s based out of here in Raleigh.

Um, the Raleigh office has cryotherapy and infrared sauna as well as skincare, and then the New York office. And actually now as of a few months ago, both offices now have physical therapy. So there’s a list of our services. Um, it’s pretty comprehensive. If you look at what medical services we provide again, in the Raleigh website, you’ll see that we do things ranging from trigger point injections with trauma, which is a plant-based homeopathic injectable that provides pretty instant pain relief. We also do, uh, platelet rich plasma injections. So that’s your PRP as part of our regenerative therapy model. Uh, we do fluid flow. We do a lot of other STEM cell injections for a joint degradation and tears. Um, my physician assistant also does vitamin B12 shots, vitamin D three shots. And finally, we started, uh, about a year ago now doing nutritional IVs. So, uh, not just stuff for like hangovers and hydrations, but specific stuff for sports and fatigue, uh, immune boosting.

And of course we do some high dosage, vitamin C oxidative therapy as well. So always expanding. Uh, but again, the services have got to fall under that umbrella that, Hey, the bot the power that made the body heals the body. We need to make sure that we facilitate or enhance or boost that healing capacity. And that’s where all of these services come into play and a lot of education comes into play. So that’s pretty much a breakdown of our philosophy, our passion, our niche, all the services that we provide. I think what I want to do is just spend like the next 10 minutes kind of getting into the meat of what this first presentation is about. And that’s with attracting an, a player. So you should be able to see that on your screen here. Um, I remember in chiropractic school and I’ve got a friend who’s here in the studio with me.

Um, we, we, what was it C for chiropractic? Right? Like we, we, we always had a see students make the best chiropractic offices. The ACE students go into research and the B students work for the C students. Uh, I remember that as this as if it was yesterday, but when it comes to employees, I don’t want to see player. I don’t want to be player. We, we want an, a player. We want someone that really, really believes in the power that made the body heals the body. They believe in our values. So we, we, we do a lot of stuff on attracting the, a player based off of our, our office values. So I’ve got three bullet points there. Uh, the first one I talk about is vision. When, whenever we’re hiring a new massage therapist or a new personal trainer or a physical therapist, and even a physician assistant, uh, the next move we’re doing is hiring another chiropractor here for the Raleigh office.

One of the things I always do with my current team at our meetings is to talk about the ideal traits and characteristics of an amazing massage therapist. And we’ve done this years and years ago, but we still revise it at least once a year. So awesome document. It just says, Hey, here’s what an ideal massage therapist looks like. Here’s what an ideal trainer looks like. Here’s what an ideal, uh, front desk, um, wellness assistant looks like. So that’s the first part of when we attract an, a player, a new employee, we’ve got to revisit, Hey, what are the ideal traits and characteristics and behaviors of that position? So that’s our vision. When we get

Into the ads, our office

Has always been, um, blessed by getting referrals. So we have no problem asking current practice members, even current employees that, Hey, who do you know, that would be an all-star at our front desk, or who do you know? That would be an amazing physical therapist, um, uh, assistant. And so we we’d begin by of course asking our current, um, network, but we also do use indeed, I don’t know if any of you that have had success with indeed, but we don’t do the free version. We actually do pay to get the right type of quality over quantity. So we put our ad on indeed. Um, if any of you want sample ads, I’d be happy to share any of this stuff with you. Um, we’ve got ads for all different types of, uh, positions that we filled. Um, our ads are a little bit more fun where we don’t, we don’t just list all the things that we are wanting them to do.

We, you know, we’re, we’re not a, uh, a do have be culture or have, do be we’re kind of the other way around. So we’re super identity-based. We, we kind of make it very clear on who we want to attract, not necessarily what they do. Um, just deeper down, I guess you can say we, we, we attract people based off of culture and not necessarily talent. Right. And, and that’s a pretty big statement too, to say, because, you know, it’s not that I want someone who’s, who’s horrible at adjusting or horrible at doing massage. They obviously have to be a good or great technician, but when we come, when it comes to the ad, we really make it clear about who are, or the type of person we want first, not just what their certifications are or how much experience they’ve had. So we’d done the vision with the team.

We put the ad out. Now we’re starting to get a lot of cover letters, a lot of resumes. And finally, when we get into that interviewing process, again, I’ve got lots of different documents that we use. Um, every, every position it’s always a minimum three step process. Um, there, it starts with the phone interview. Uh, we’ve been doing phone interviews for over a decade now, uh, this is again trying to kind of pick apart people’s, um, lifestyle and what they really believe in. So this isn’t just a phone interview about what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are. There’s, there’s a lot of fun questions in there that talks about, you know, uh, what do you like to do in your off days? What books have you read? What do you do for your own personal growth? What are some of your top three goals for this year?

Um, do you write them down? So like, things like that, just to kind of make sure that we’re hiring them for who they are, not just for being a great front desk person, getting to know them as a person as well. Um, after they pass the phone interview, we get into the face-to-face interview. So this is kind of where we get into the nitty-gritty of what the, the position is. Uh, we, we kind of want to engage them on that. Hey, is this person just looking for a job or is this just a career or, or is this like a calling like something that they were just born to do? And they were attracted to us to, to really go forward with their calling. Um, what else did we do face to face? We have them check out the office. Uh, the third, the third part of the interviewing phase once they pass that level is to finally shadow a shift.

And so that to me is kind of like the, make it, or break it, uh, visit because now that they’ve gone through the interviewing process on the phone face to face, and of course on the face-to-face, if they’re a therapist or a trainer, they will also provide a therapy or training session. But now on this third interview, they’re completely shadowing a full shift, whether it’s the morning or afternoon or even the weekend shift. And I want them to be engaged. I don’t want them to be shy. There’s a checklist that we use just to see how, uh, communicative they are when we put them on the spot with answering questions like, Hey, why would you want to work here? Or what attracted you to this office? Or, um, we we’d have them shadow as much as we can, obviously they’re not shadowing a massage therapy session, but they are shadowing, uh, all of our other services that aren’t so intimate.

And we kind of want to make sure that not only are they a right fit for us, but are, are, are, are we a right fit for them? Right. And so that’s kind of like the third and final interviewing stage. And again, once we go through that, regardless of whether the, or a personal trainer or massage therapist or front desk, we, we put everyone through that interviewing process. And then we also, you know, make that decision pretty instantly after they’ve gone through that third phase. So, so that, that kind of wraps up the three bullet points on attracting an, a player. Um, my last slide pretty much really just kind of talks about, Hey, all right, they’re hired. So, so now what, you know, that, that wasn’t necessarily the hardest part. The hardest part now comes. It’s like, all right, let’s, let’s get them on board.

Let’s start teaching them the way we do things around here, whether it’s different from their past, uh, career paths, or we’d just talk about how we do things. And so this is the last slide that I wanted to share with everyone. Um, and then this is something that I’ve been complimented on for a good amount of time period. I’ve got, um, uh, an employee of my New York office. She’s now been with the company for over 14 years. Um, she’s now she’s been our office manager for at least 10 of those 14. We’ve got another woman who’s been with us for a little over, or just shy of 11 years. She was a trainer first, and now she’s running our billing department. So I, I, when I, when I bring someone new to the team, I’m really looking for a long-term relationship. It’s also one of the questions we asked in our phone interview, and we even put that on our ad that we’re, we’re interested in.

Long-term, uh, if there’s any reasons why you couldn’t make a long-term commitment, please let us know now. And so, um, onboarding someone who’s brand new, I mean, for, for, for my approach and for my office managers approach, we will invest as many off days to really have a one-on-one intimate training with them. So we, we use what’s called a master training timeline. Um, I’ve edited this document pretty much year after year. Uh, it goes through whether, again, whatever department you’ve been hired to run, we still want you to learn about the culture of the office. How do we provide a Ritz Carlton experience? How do we create that wow factor? Uh, even if you’re hired as a nutritionist, you need to learn all the philosophy of the massage department of the personal training department and, and the rehab. Um, every employee needs to be educated on all of the other employees, their departments, what their service offerings are.

So our onboarding is pretty, pretty structured, especially for the first two weeks. Um, you know, I guess in some companies, they call that your culture immersion course. So, so we have something very similar to that. Um, when it comes to vernacular, I, I put that in there cause I, I actually started writing, uh, a couple of examples, just choosing our words wisely. You know, it’s kind of one of those things where I I’ve never liked the word staff. I just ever, ever since a colleague of mine had told me that it sounds like an infection. Why would I ever call an employee who is driving the success of my business and company and infection. So I’m not a big fan of the word staff. We prefer to use a team instead. Um, even when people talk about staff meetings, how many staff meetings you have, I’m like, I don’t have any staff meetings.

I’ve got weekly team meetings, I’ve got staff meetings. Uh, when it, when it comes to having an integrated approach and having that many employees, we don’t also use the word me. We, we just don’t, we don’t use the word. I, we, we always do it as a we approach. So you won’t hear any of my employees saying, Oh, you know, so-and-so did that. Or I can’t remember if they did that. We always, even when we reply on emails or answering the phone, we always do it in a wee format. So that way it doesn’t come off as a Mimi. I, I, um, one of the words for vernacular, I remind every new employee that, you know, we’re, we’re serving people or what we call our practice members where we’re not serving patients, right. Patients, uh, gives that annotation of someone who’s sick and diseased. And we don’t want to promote that in our office, although yes, there are people who start with that level of care, but we want to always talk about being practice members rather than patients, even the word treatment.

And I don’t use the word treatment or treatment plan. We always call them a care plan or a health plan. So just some of the examples that we use when we’re training a new employee, uh, on just how important it is to use our words wisely. Uh, the last two bullet points, I’ll kind of finish up here. I know we’re wrapping at a time is rewarding the behavior, um, you know, there’s, there’s rewarding that behavior or disciplining, disciplining the behavior that you don’t want. And, um, it’s not that I’m against discipline. We’ve got employee learning centers and disciplinary action plans. But for me, it’s all about rewarding, all the good stuff that you see. Um, we, we do our weekly team meetings every Monday. Uh, we, we change them up. Sometimes we do focus on the business next week. We might focus on training the week after that we may focus on clinical review or we’ll kind of go over the most recent new patients or new new practice members that have signed up or any progress reviews.

So we always kind of go through different, different types of meetings throughout the week. Um, there’s department meetings as well. So the massage therapist will meet the trainers and the rehab physical therapists will meet again, just making sure that they feel like they’re encouraged, not only to, um, come up with new ideas and to be innovative, but also just going over the way that we do things. And if there’s anything that we could be doing better, uh, any particular that we need to acknowledge from the week before, um, a lot, a lot, a lot of simple things like that. Um, also with rewarding the behavior, we try to play at least once a quarter games in our office. We try to game-ify for example, recalls, and reactivations once a quarter, we’ll have a contest on who can reactivate, uh, former patients that have not been in for 90 days or even six months.

Uh, we’ll do another, a game that we did on who can be fully booked the most. So for example, with massage therapists, they’re only seeing one person at a time, but if they have, you know, 27 slots throughout the week, they get rewarded. If they were booked 27 out of 27. And if we make it like a competition as well. Uh, so those, those are just some of the, um, examples that we’ve done. Um, I do invest in my employees quite a bit, and you know, that that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take them out to dinner all the time and buy them birthday gifts. But we, we invest in seminars. We invest in, uh, one day intensives that we might run, obviously with this pandemic. We didn’t do much traveling this past year, but we’re starting to kind of schedule out a one day or two day retreats.

Um, I’ve, I’ve always invested in taking my team to conferences and seminars. Again, we haven’t done anything in the past year, but at least twice a year to invest in those. And then also we give them, um, a little bit of a credit each year to invest in any other continuing things or seminars that they want to go to. Um, and it doesn’t have to be promoted by living well-balanced. It could be anything that they like that will further enhance their career and just who they are as a person. So just some of the examples I wanted to talk about with rewarding the behavior, I think from a, you know, if we had any of my employees here as guests, they would give a lot of good examples about how we invest heavily on our team as they obviously invest heavily in the company. And then last but not least, I put in, um, reviews.

I, I still have so many of my good friends that just don’t like doing employee reviews. And I don’t know why, um, I’ve been doing employee reviews since the day I graduated and no four. And, you know, some of them are very basic when it comes to like, you know, your first 90 day review, it’s kind of like a spreadsheet that you go through to make sure that people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but if they’re having any trouble, here’s, here’s the opportunity to give them a feedback. Um, all of my employee reviews or three 60 reviews. So I do have other employees give me feedback on them, on strengths, in anything that they feel like they need to improve on. Um, if they’re doing any type of patient care, I do get patients or certain practice members to also give me any feedback on them as well.

So that way they get reviews, not just from top down, but from their coworkers, as well as their practice members. Um, we do reviews every six months. So there’s a mid-year review. And then the end of year review, I have different questions, uh, at the end of year review. Some of them are quite invasive in, in terms of like, I want to know what they’re doing personally, to, to grow themselves what their personal goals are, anything that they want to, uh, learn, even, even if it’s stuff about like cooking classes or being part of book clubs, even though that has nothing to do with working at living, well-balanced it actually has everything to do with working at LivingWell bowels. So I kind of want to make sure that they take care of themselves outside of this office. Um, other things that I’ll do at reviews, you know, we’ll, we’ll kind of put the business hat on them.

I love telling our, asking them, Hey, if you own or manage, what would you do differently? What would you want to do? Uh, what would be one thing that you want to add differently to your offerings for this upcoming year? Or what do you think we can do to enhance the experience better? And those are just worth every penny. When you get people who’ve invested in you saying that, Hey, if we could do this, or if we could start doing this, that would be an awesome thing to bring to the table. So reviews is just something I love, man. I do at least twice a year. Uh, we schedule them out as far as we can. And it’s just a great opportunity. It’s not just a, a meeting where they can excuse my language, and complain. And it’s not an opportunity that guarantees them bonuses like, or, or, um, a race I don’t look at reviews is that I don’t want to just value them for their time, uh, time and money it’s I value them for their effort.

I, I want to see production and value creation, not just that they’ve been here for X amount of time. So those are just sample ideas of, of how I engage my team. Uh, I know there’s, I try to mention as much as I could in the 20 minutes that I had with you guys today, but, uh, I’m looking forward to the next five or six shows where I kind of dive in a little bit deeper on the team driven approach, uh, especially when you start to integrate. And I know that’s the part that a lot of my colleagues, some of them have had troubles integrating massage in their practices, or they kind of make them 10 90 nines and just rent space from them. But if you are interested in really learning how to put this as a culture and really make a holistic, uh, vitalistic approach to care plans, uh, out in addition to chiropractic with chiropractic, really being at the center, um, I I’m your man.

I got plenty of stuff to share in the next five or six shows about how we do that. Um, I’ll, I’ll show a lot of sample care plans and treatment plans. I’ll definitely show some sample meetings on how we, um, constructively organize people’s care plans together. So I’m pretty excited. Uh, thank you, uh, Dr. Hoffman again, for, including me as part of this all inclusion program, we got a great show coming up tomorrow. Make sure you listen to Dr. Walter Sanchez. We’ll be doing his show. Uh, it’s going to be awesome. Uh, thank you again. Have a great day.