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Eyes on Staff Retreat 2019



In January we had a staff meeting where I reviewed the accomplishments and events of the previous year and also presented the 2019 goals to our team. We set these goals to make sure that we are being intentional about our work and striving to improve the quality of care that we provide to our patients. Some of the goals I set for our team are yearly goals and others are monthly, weekly, or even daily. But, what is the point of a goal without a reward? I decided to set the reward for the yearly goal to be a vacation for each of our team members and their immediate family. I broke it down a little further and set a benchmark for September - if we could reach the goal by September 31st we would go on the trip in November.


As most of you know, a lot has changed for Eyes on Albertville since January. I added a partner, Dr. Greer, and we opened a second location: Eyes on Guntersville. While the addition of a second office definitely required a lot of time from both Dr. Greer and me, it did not take away from the growth that the Albertville office was achieving. It became pretty clear in July that the Albertville office would likely hit the September goal, and sure enough, an entire month early the goal was achieved at the end of August. We booked our retreat to the beach in September and began counting down the days!

We wanted to make sure that the time we spent with the team was not only effective in regards to being a "treat" but also effective in team building. So here's a little bit about how we spent our time.


We all stayed together in one house. I thought it was important that we were truly together during the retreat. While we did schedule free time during the weekend, most of our time was spent just enjoying each others company.


Our team had a task. We planned to eat in at the house more than eat out, so I divided the team into cooking groups! Dr. Greer and I led the way by preparing breakfast for everyone for the first day. After that, the others had to grocery shop together and plan out their assigned meal. Although we all work together each day in an office, working together to accomplish a different type of task allowed team members to utilize different skills than what they might normally display in our work setting.


We had a little bit of competition. We brought 4 different patterns of bandannas survivor style and had each person on the retreat randomly draw one and then decide on a team name. We had four members on each team, even assigning little baby Ensleigh to a team. Points were distributed throughout the week for different tasks and games that all culminated to our last night out being spent racing go-karts, playing put-put golf, and scoring tickets in the arcade.


We encouraged our team. Each of the three nights we spent together we had an evening round up where we reviewed the day and went over some of our favorite things that happened. We left each night with a word of encouragement and motivation to our team. On the last night, we thanked them all for what they do to grow our practice and for just going on this journey with us. I ended our session by praying over each one of team members and their families, for protection, provision and blessing in the coming year.

It's always good to get away, but I think in this case it was even better to get away WITH each other. I think that the time we spent together allowed us all to learn more about each other and also appreciate each other more. Both of those things allow us to work better together and ultimately accomplish our main goal: to provide the best patient care that we can by making every patient feel welcomed, treating each patient like they are family, and making sure their visual and eye health needs are met beyond their expectation.


-Dr. Branch




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