One of my client practices, a solo specialist, has just hired his officer manager/assistant. It was a fortuitous time to think about the kind of person he wanted and the responsibilities and duties of the job.
A recent article in ‘Manage Smarter‘ magazine starts with the premise that employees matter. Creating clear differentiation in medical practices is difficult. Where you can create a clear difference is in the patient experience, which is where your employees are everything. To that end, keeping employees satisfied is a major focus of your work, and the article suggests 16 cost-effective ways to do this, as follows:
1. Don’t misrepresent your culture.
2. Learn the rules of engagement.
3. Cross-pollinate your culture.
4. Be a good corporate citizen.
5. Give praise where praise is due.
6. Get creative with benefits.
7. Be aware of the changing needs of your employees.
8. Great employees thrive under great leaders.
9. Conduct “stay” interviews regularly.
10. Create a “best” work environment.
11. Help employees achieve work/life balance.
12. Insist that your employees take vacations.
13. Create an environment of trust.
14. Get rid of weeds.
15. Use internship and mentoring programs to grow and nurture new talent.
16. Take a seasonal approach.
I think that the common theme here and in modern management is that owners and managers need to be engaged with their employees on an ongoing basis. For instance, item 9, “Conduct ‘stay’ interviews regularly’ is an interesting perspective. A manager creates an atmosphere of trust by talking to their staff all the time. “Stay” interviews are maintenance interviews, probing the employees for ideas, where there are obstacles to their job, and their preferences and aspirations. You may not be able to meet all of their wants, particularly in a smaller practice. But keeping your good people is your goal, and you will keep them longer and motivated when they feel appreciated and that their work matters.
Transformations don’t take place right away. Start today – spend a few minutes just talking about what went well during the day. Just keep doing it, and pretty soon you will notice an improvement in the atmosphere of the practice, a lowering of the stress level, and a smoother operation. It’s not magic – it’s simply good management.