Hire and manage key employees

May 31, 2014

Do you spend time wondering why employees no-show or resign? Do you think about how employee retention and turnover affects your bottom line? Today’s employees leave jobs for reasons other than just compensation and benefits, and tend to leave managers/co-workers than actual companies. Owners should provide vision, empowerment, empathy, motivation, teamwork, fun, and incentives so employees feel they have an ownership in the business.

Do you spend time wondering why employees no-show or resign? Do you think about how employee retention and turnover affects your bottom line? Today’s employees leave jobs for reasons other than just compensation and benefits, and tend to leave managers/co-workers than actual companies. Owners should provide vision, empowerment, empathy, motivation, teamwork, fun, and incentives so employees feel they have an ownership in the business.

Part 1: Lower your financial risk

Whether you are subleasing a space and have only a couple of employees or have multiple offices that employ 50 or more, finding key individuals to promote, operate, and support your practice is essential. To be the most efficient and productive, your employees have more job functions and responsibilities than ever-managing and motivating to keep up productivity can be challenging. Practices owners always have to be instrumental creating a culture of teamwork and success. But first, it is essential to find key and hire key team players.

The hiring process should not always be conducted in a textbook fashion. It is an art form, and even the best employees do not fit into a particular mold. Practice owners and hiring managers should consider taking a step back and see what is compelling about applicants and how to utilize their talents that may not be in the job description. Key individuals to fill the teams’ voids should have certain characteristics and mindsets. Candidates who demonstrate leadership skills and have the ability to learn and think on the fly can be invaluable with customer service and emergency situations. Being able to take ownership of work while remaining humble, accepting others with better ideas, and to express opinions professionally are great attributes for various positions, especially management. Do not to overlook a person who can perform the job well even if he may not have the exact background and experience as indicated in your job description. Definitely avoid quick fixes. They simply do not work and can cause more damage than good, especially to the attitudes of your current key employees.

Next: Retaining a strong team

 

 

Retaining a strong team

Now that you have hired your outstanding team, retaining them will be your number-one challenge, especially your top performers. Key individuals are always in demand, so retention should be a top priority. First impressions are everything, and setting them up for success is imperative. Make sure a proper development program is in place along with written informational policies such as employee handbooks, job descriptions, and other policy manuals. Some large companies will assign mentors, as opposed to trainers, to make the new associates more comfortable in their environment and will allow them direct access to a senior associate for any questions or concerns. Inspiration should come from all associates, not just mentors and managers. When new associates feel welcomed and feel a positive work environment, they will embrace the culture and find their place among the team. 

Regardless of the political rhetoric regarding the minimum wage, all employees want to be paid fairly, and it still is the cornerstone to be competitive. It was much simpler to retain and motivate employees by providing more money, good benefits, and vertical advancement, but now key associates want recognition and obtainable incentives. The nuclear family today usually has two working partners with less time at home. By listening and empathizing with your employees, you can provide custom benefits to tailor their needs and ultimately reduce turnover.

Creating a culture in which your employees feel they are part of something bigger will win their hearts. Some larger practices and corporations offer flextime, gym memberships, babysitting/daycare, job sharing, and recognition programs. This can be quite challenging for smaller practices that do not to have the financial resources, and that’s why it is more important to listen to your associates and possibly provide benefits to their lifestyle. For example, if your practice offers health care and the associate already receives it through other means but needs daycare, offering the same monetary amount for the daycare demonstrates the flexibility of your practice than other large practices and corporate cultures which have more rigid policies.

Next: Maintaining a strong team

 

Maintaining a strong team

So now you have hired the perfect team and have in place the tools and environment for them to succeed, but it does not stop there. Just like any other asset in your practice, associates need ongoing maintenance. Simple things, such as weekly meetings and timely reviews, can keep employees excited and engaged. How many times has your practice lost employees because they have not had a review of their job performance and salary? Three-month, six-month, and yearly reviews not only provide feedback to associates but also convey future goals and expectations. By making an actual appointment in your schedule with reminders, it sets the tone that you want them to succeed. Just like with great customer service, you should exceed your associate’s expectations by being timely and specific. Again, listening to each individual associate is imperative to match rewards to specific achievements. The most powerful words are “thank you.” Praising your associates and recognizing a job well done demonstrates their value and how their contribution to your practice is paramount. A simple inexpensive handwritten thank-you note goes much further than just a simple pat on the back.

Key associates want a balanced lifestyle with home and work, not necessarily money. You can improve their quality of life by addressing their personal needs, which then builds more than just an employer-employee relationship, but builds loyalty. Remember that you and your associates spend a good portion of your lives working together, and the key is to make things enjoyable. A balance of seriousness and fun is healthy and makes your practice environment more pleasant. Make sure your associates feel comfortable about bringing new ideas to improve the practice’s workplace. Conducting routine surveys with associates asking for suggestions gives them a sense of ownership and being part of the big picture.ODT

Part 3: Managing risk avoidance

Part 4: Diversify your practice 

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