Maintaining Good Employees

Employee retention seems to be an especially hot  topic since the pandemic.  According to the Harvard Business Review, 57% of workers are open to looking for a new job and their studies contend that only 32% of employees are satisfied with their current position.  Let’s face it, the post-pandemic workplace faces new challenges but we need to figure them out because constantly hiring and training new employees is expensive, time consuming and can put strain on business.

Effective employee retention can save an organization from productivity losses. High-retention workplaces tend to employ more engaged workers who, in turn, get more done. Engaged employees are more likely to improve customer relationships, and teams that have had time to coalesce also tend to be more productive.

I have read that 80% of turnover can be attributed to bad hiring decisions. With those numbers in mind, every potential new employee should be screened to determine if they are really an appropriate candidate for the job.  A bad hire is truly worse than waiting to fill a position because it is difficult to eliminate one’s position, not to mention the disruption created by training a new employee.   Tackling turnover by modifying your candidate screening process represents an enormous opportunity for any business regardless of size. There are many screening tools on the internet.  We use the PXT Assessment and it has been very helpful in hiring the right employees.

Once a qualified candidate has been hired, what is the best way to retain them?  I would start by paying above average salaries and offering a good benefit program.  I managed a high employee retention and I always thought it was due to the compensation plan, but that strategy doesn’t seem to work as well in 2022.  Employees are more interested in additional paid time off and flexibility in work hours – not as easy to do when you are running a practice and accommodating patients schedules but it can be done.

Make sure you are letting employees know that you appreciate them and show interest in their families and their personal lives.  I have some of my Mother in me and tend to notice the mistakes more than the successes. This practice can kill motivation and job satisfaction. I’ve read that most employees would rather get a word of praise than a raise.  Bottom line – little things matter.

We have morning team meetings to discuss the plan for the day and also to highlight unique or important patients and to discuss where we are in reaching our goals.  Employees like to feel like a member of a team and that their contribution is important. Encourage input and feedback from everyone.

Offer the opportunity to grow.  Employees do not want to feel like they are “stuck in a rut” or like they are at a dead end with the company.  Show your employees that you trust them by giving them responsibilities that allow them to grow. Provide ample continuing education opportunities. Hire from within wherever possible, and give generous promotions at appropriate times.

Employees are not mind readers and sometimes have no idea what an employer expects of them so provide very specific job descriptions and meet with each employee at least once a quarter to discuss job performance.

Improving employee retention is a big step towards increasing the profitability of a practice and can make life much easier and less chaotic for the business manager or owner.

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