How is your follow-through?
Updated: May 5
It's a Professional Mindset
Follow-through is defined as the completion of a motion. It is the act of continuing a plan or project you are working on and ensuring its completion.
This term has come up a lot for me lately both personally and professionally. Follow-through is everything, especially in your business.
It can give your practice credibility but can also take it away just as easily.
The first situation that brought the term “follow-through” to the forefront of my mind was in preparation for my son’s freshman year in college. He needed an appointment with a doctor in his college town. We called the college health center, and before he could get an appointment, they required some records from the pediatrician he had seen since birth however, that doctor has recently retired. I called the office and asked for the records; Nicholas had to sign a release of records form which we then faxed back to the office.
Now, I am very understanding that these things can take time for a busy office. It happens. I waited for 2 weeks…nothing. I called again; they stated that they had not received it. Okay, I faxed the form again to a different fax number that they gave me …another 2 weeks and nothing. I call again, they still had not received it, so I faxed it again.
The lesson here is two-fold. The last time I faxed it, I called to ensure that they received the fax and that it was going through the proper process to get my son’s records sent to the college. Unfortunately, I failed on my own follow-through the first two times. I should have made that call the first time and we would not have had to wait so long.
It seems the office failed on their follow-through though as well. The form was faxed 3x. Where did it go? Someone there had to receive it. Even if it went to the wrong department, what did they do with it? It appears to be nothing because we never received a phone call asking about it, which would have moved the process along. Or maybe whoever received it could have sent it to the proper department. It did not provide a lot of confidence in the practice that it took 6 weeks to get a few simple copies made and sent to another doctor.
Professionally, follow-through is coming up a lot as well. The GTS team has been working with several our offices to hire new employees. This is always a tedious process, and it seems to be even more so right now. The overall problem is the lack of follow-through by potential hires. If you are looking for a new position, I encourage you to stay on top of the communication. It will definitely help you stand out above the rest. Unfortunately, that lack of follow-through seems to be happening from the practices that are looking as well. A number of the potential hires I have spoken with thanked me for being so responsive.
Follow through is another word for acknowledgment. When you receive an email a simple ‘thank you’ in response is polite and it allows the sender to know you received it. If you set a meeting for a vendor, potential employee or anyone within the office environment, a quick confirmation of the date & time could be in order. Is there anything you can do to follow through which would allow others to know that they are all set in their follow through?
Is there a lack of follow-through happening in any aspect of your practice? If there is, I encourage you to find the source and remedy the situation. It is not a professional look for your business when there is not that follow-through. When you are one of the few places in people’s lives that does follow-through…you stand out above the rest. Be that practice that is following through with tasks at hand and can be counted on to do what you say. It will bring you a lot of good referrals.
Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE, Consultant
At age 14, Janice Janssen got an after-school job working for her dentist. Twenty-something years later, she is the co-founder of Global Team Solutions and an expert in practice consulting.
Besides hands-on experience, Janice has gained professional recognition for her hard work and commitment to excellence. She is co-author of OMG! Office Management Guide, the “bible” used in GTS training workshops. She is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC), and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), which positions her as an expert in educating dentists to deter fraud and embezzlement in their practice.
Janice can be reached at: email@example.com