I read the following letter to the Envision Team at our yearly Holiday party last week at Mela. It occurred to me that it would be great to share it with our readers to show how much appreciation there is for the people I have had the good fortune to assemble to serve your eye care needs. After all, how could we stand by our pledge to deliver excellent customer service and care without an excellent (and happy) team? It starts with our people–the most important aspect of Envision Eyecare. The letter is as follows:
“It is important for me to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for what each of you does. It is easy to get enmeshed in our everyday routine with all of the tasks and procedures that make the Envision experience unique. We love to joke and have fun, and even though tonight is about a celebration, let us set the tone for a moment to get serious and philosophical about the big picture. After all, we are not floating aimlessly in the sea of practice management; we are intentional and exceptional at what we do.
What can I say about my feelings around our practice? I am humbled to work you each of you. Even when it is not obvious, I am in a constant state of gratitude to have the privilege to work in this space. Let's consider that idea: The idea of privilege. When things get difficult, there is a lot of work to get done, we have the rare, negative interaction with each other or a patient, let us remember to sit back and consider how fortunate we are to be at Envision with all of the other work environments out there? Perhaps that allows perspective in the big picture, and then a level of patience and compassion for the difficult situation at hand.
As this year draws to a close, it is important to reflect back on a year of success and growth, both personally and professionally. Each of you individually, and together as a team, exceeds my expectation of you. Why? This is more than just a job where you punch a clock and go through the motions in apathy and monotony. You each have personal pride in your work. You each want to see Envision succeed and prosper. You each care about each other and me on a personal and professional level. You each are willing to challenge yourself to be better at your career. You are each open to change. You are patient with me in my imperfections. Meanwhile, you each have faith in me to steer our ship toward success and therefore are willing to follow my decisions in times of agreement and even disagreement.
We started this year with the team of Tanya, Jessica and Jeni. Only Tanya had been here more than half a year and no one had worked here more than a year. Since we are an organization in which relationships are paramount, we were in a place of rebuilding trust with each other and our patients. Throughout the year, we added Maria and now Lauren. This year we mastered Eletronic Medical Records, we have learned about, and began using, the new Hoya spectacle lenses, we have instituted a more user friendly system for pricing our frames, and we have learned how to make our exam process quicker and more streamlined (without sacrificing patient care), thereby saving our patient's time and our time. We have discussed and recorded what is important to succeed at Envision. We have begun to establish and reach for goals. We have instituted our social media campaign for more community awareness of our practice. We have added the iCare tonometer and improved the history portion of the pretest. We have added convenience for our patients by providing CL solution, fish oil supplements and other dry eye treatments. The list goes on and on. Overall, we have learned more about our industry, eye health and how to manage a practice with grace, beauty and intention.
Yowsers! That is impressive in one year's time. Let's take a moment to breathe all of those accomplishments in. We enable ourselves to be successful through reflection, intention and flexibility to change. With that mentality, we can accomplish anything.
Each day, you are making people's lives better. Think about K.P. who has less back and neck strain thanks to her computer glasses. Consider H.B. who has a healthier lifestyle due to an improved self image from her stylish glasses. How do you think JW’s new Rx is affecting his life? These examples from the last few months are only several examples of what we have done all year long! It's truly a privilege to serve our patients.
As we continue to gain momentum in the year to come, we will have an even greater impact on our community by serving more patients. What does 2011 hold in store for Envision Eyecare? Whatever it is, our future is so bright we have to wear UV/HEV shades!”
Larry Golson is an entrepreneur in Asheville, NC