Standardizing everything and cross-training everyone is one way to increase a mental health practice’s value. But even more importantly, doing so makes the business run more smoothly and diminishes vulnerabilities.
Let’s examine why value, efficiency, and resiliency are improved by standardizing everything and cross-training everyone.
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Why standardize everything?
Consider the definition of standardization. Merriam Webster defines “standardization” this way:
to bring into conformity with a standard, especially to assure consistency and regularity
to compare with a standard: to determine the strength, value, or quality of (something) by comparison with a standard
So to standardize a process is to add consistency and regularity to it. Additionally, we want to bring everything up to standard. As a result, all parts of the business function more consistently and with greater excellence.
And certainly, as a byproduct, standardization will add these qualities:
- errors are minimized, and when there are mistakes, they are easily identified and corrected
- the best way of doing each step is more likely to emerge
- training new people is much simpler when there is a standard way of doing things
- with repetition, everything becomes more efficient
Moreover, managing the business becomes more about managing processes than managing people. That, too, is one of our goals. See 7 management principles that excellent but untrained managers know for more.
Why cross-train everyone?
Building a solid business is partly about eliminating weak spots. That is to say that consistent and steady coverage means that multiple people need to know how to do everything. For example, when only one person knows how to do a task and then goes on vacation or becomes ill, the job remains undone. Ouch.
Furthermore, more heads working on a task inevitably enhance the process. Moreover, as trainers and learners go through various lessons, they evaluate whether there might be a better way. And of course, as a person learns a job, they might suggest an improvement. That is one way things get better.
After training several people, we found that the instruction process and the tasks’ efficiency improved. Cross-training is an excellent way to “stress-test” a method to see if it works as well as it should.
But does standardizing everything and cross-training everyone add value?
So, to sum up, standardizing everything brings consistency and regularity to all business processes. And cross-training everyone decreases the business’s vulnerability and dependency on any one person.
But does standardizing everything and cross-training everyone make a business more valuable? Certainly, and here is why.
Consider this example. If all your business processes are standardized, the manager’s job is easier. Making sure that all is on track is about comparing to the standard way. Additionally, a new owner will have less to attend to or figure out. They merely need to continue with existing processes.
Furthermore, suppose multiple people know how to do all the primary business functions. In that case, the business is more robust and resilient and less vulnerable to any employee who might decide to leave.
Potenial purchasers look for businesses that standardized everything and cross-trained everyone
When a potential purchaser evaluates a practice, they look for a business that does not require much re-tooling. They want to see a smoothly running company without much daily hand-holding. Consequently, when one achieves that, then the financial value of the business is greater.
In short, for both business efficiency, resiliency, and adding value, it only makes sense to standardize everything and cross-train everyone.