Best Practices: 3 Keys to Effective Captainships

 In Operations

Winning in business requires role division and staff empowerment, making delegation of at least some duties a must for successful growth. Captainships, a leadership mechanism that gives team members a specific responsibility to oversee, not only let you delegate but can elevate your practice’s efficiency and effectiveness. Put your own captainship program into action with these three tips:

Understand Why Captainships Matter

At their core, captainships are about prioritizing the important pieces and deputizing others to keep those priorities top of mind. Whether it’s physician outreach, whiteboard meetings, outbound calling, team celebrations, or other tactics that help your business thrive, it’s important to assign ownership of these tasks to ensure they happen.

Captainships offer a powerful way to accomplish this. By empowering staff through leadership opportunities, you allow them to additionally contribute to the business and further flourish as productive team members. It also allows you, through the continued success of the business, to further support their personal, professional, and financial goals (PPFs).


Use the 4-Step Implementation Method


  • Determine which captainships you need. Are you juggling tasks that matter but aren’t the best use of your time? Are there activities you’ve wanted to implement — whiteboard meetings, for example, or grassroots outreach? Have your employees indicated interest in opportunities — media outreach or chamber of commerce events, for instance — that could add value? Take a step back to identify the specific areas that would benefit your business.


  • Find the right person for the role. Having a team member with the knack, personality, and passion for physician outreach makes assigning the captainship a cinch, but often there’s no perfect fit. Conduct a conversation with the whole team, discussing the value of the applicable captainship so that folks understand the goal. Individuals will often step up and volunteer, whether they already have the aptitude or want to grow that skill set.


  • Set the captain up for success. Aligning your and your designee’s vision of the captainship role and clarifying the supports needed to carry it out are crucial for success. If that team lead will be running point on outbound calling, for example, when and how many contacts should they make? Do they need block-scheduled time to execute the task? Additional training? Discuss needs and expectations and establish deadlines and milestones to help ensure support and accountability.


  • Provide feedback. Speaking of accountability: Nothing’s worse than thinking a task has been accomplished only to discover it never got off the ground. Avoid surprises by scheduling regular check-ins with your captains to review progress, celebrate achievements, jointly troubleshoot challenges, and confirm any next steps. Catching and overcoming potential barriers to success early can go a long way toward keeping captains motivated and effective.


Ready to Go the Extra Mile?


  • Incentivize — Providing incentives for success offers another way to motivate and support the staff you’ve entrusted with captainships. Audigy’s human resources experts have various compensation plans for different types of captainships — whether it’s an outbound-calling comp plan or even physician-outreach comp plans. You can also incentivize in other ways: “If you accomplish this, you can leave earlier,” for example, or a different option based on the employee’s PPFs.


  • Audit — Already have a captainship program in place? Remember to audit it periodically to make sure it’s operating efficiently and meeting your practice’s needs. Go through the four-step implementation method discussed in this article, even if your captainships have been up and running for some time.


  • Recalibrate — If a captainship isn’t working out with a particular person in the role, don’t get discouraged; it may simply be a coaching opportunity. If it turns out the fit just isn’t right, recalibrate with someone else who may be a better match for that role, or reconsider that particular captainship. Ask your people questions, and remember that one mistake doesn’t mean the whole program doesn’t work for your practice.



If launching a captainship program seems overwhelming, not to worry: Audigy has it covered. From helping you identify specific needs and set up the program to coaching specific staff and helping establish key benchmarks, our business experts can support you and your team every step of the way.


Our exclusive resources also include:

  • Relevant workshops, webinars, and other trainings to increase team productivity, boost practice efficiency, and maximize provider effectiveness
  • Helpful worksheets such as one addressing the flow and conversion captainship, and a marketing-culture worksheet that can help identify marketing captainships
  • Audigy CEO, an exclusive online educational portal that offers not only videos, self-assessments, practice-management tools, and more but also access to a nationwide community of practice owners and providers able to share their own experiences, lessons, and advice on captainships and other aspects of business success



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