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6 Ways To Damage Your Reputation In A New Job

 

 

Bad employee

There are many ways you can inadvertently damage your reputation in a new job. As my former client found out, showing up late on your first day of work is one of those ways. Here are six ways you can sabotage your reputation that you should avoid at all costs:

6 Ways to Damage Your Reputation

#1 – Show up late on your first day of work: This is my number one “no-no” when it comes to starting a new job. Showing up late may damage your reputation because it can make you look unreliable and unable to plan for potential obstacles. If you can’t even make it to work on time, do you think your manager will trust you to finish a project on time? Always give yourself plenty of extra time to get to work for the first few weeks so you can get a feel for traffic patterns and how much time you’ll need. Bring a book or magazine to read in case you get there early.

#2 – Wear inappropriate attire, based on the company culture: Wearing a dark suit is not a good idea if you’ve been hired by a start-up company where everyone wears jeans and shorts to work. Similarly, wearing too casual attire to a company where most employees wear suits five days a week won’t work either. Take the time (before your first day on the job) to understand the company’s culture and find out from your new manager or HR representative as to what attire is appropriate. Never wear perfume or cologne to work – leave these for evenings and weekends. There’s almost nothing more annoying as a manager than having to hold a discussion with a new employee because their over-powering perfume/cologne is disrupting office productivity.

#3 – Refer constantly to how your previous company did things: When you keep referring to things saying, “That’s not how we did it at ABC company,” or “Where I came from, this is how we did it and it worked much better,” you will severely damage your reputation. Why? Because nobody likes an arrogant know-it-all who thinks they are better than other employees or who believes their previous company did things better. I once led a department after the parent company had purchased and merged five companies into one. Ego-bragging about former companies was so prevalent I implemented a fun way of calling attention to this negative practice. Whenever anyone used the name of his or her former company and someone pointed this out, the person had to add $1 to an empty shoebox in my office. When the shoebox was filled with money I used it for a pizza lunch for the team and to talk about the ego-bragging and why it was so detrimental to our newly combined company. After that, the negative practice almost immediately ceased.

#4 – Question the way (and why) things are done: Like I mentioned in item #3, no one likes an arrogant know-it-all. Before espousing your opinions in your new job, take the time to identify all angles of a situation. This means understanding the stakeholders, inputs, resources, processes, and outcomes/results. Once you have this information, you can dig deeper into certain circumstances using terminology such as, “Help me understand how…” and “How does department ABC then use this information to…?” How you word things is just as important as the questions you ask, so think before you speak.

#5 – Ask for time off: You’d think this would be a no-brainer “no-no”, but you’d be surprised at how often hiring managers express their frustration to me about new employees blindsiding them with time off requests. If you receive a job offer in June and your family already has vacation plans scheduled for mid-July, let the hiring manager know immediately (before you begin your new job) and proactively work with them to ensure your vacation will not disrupt the productivity of the department. Surprising your new manager with a personal time off request can damage your reputation because it can make you seem like a deceitful and immature person.

#6 – Spend time “water cooler gossiping” to get the “dirt” on people in the department: Everyone wants to get to know the people in their new company as quickly as possible – but don’t spend time finding out through the gossip “grape vine” around the water cooler or break room. Take the time to get to know colleagues first hand and form your own opinions. Don’t let other’s nasty gossip cloud your thinking when it comes to co-workers.

As my former career-coaching client found out, it can be fairly easy to damage your reputation in a new job. Once damaged, it can take time and effort to repair your work reputation. To avoid having to go through this situation yourself, be aware of the six key ways you can harm your reputation when starting a new job – and wisely avoid them!

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

Contact Form here

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A Winning Mindset: Making 2018 Your Year

new-years-resolution-goal-setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every NFL franchise reports to training camp with the same goal in mind, and the same outlook. They want to win, and believe that their staff, starters, and bench players have the potential to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy home to their respective cities. However, potential isn’t easily quantified. For some it’s obvious; others, a bit more confounding.

Of course, there is no championship of private medicine. The best two practices in America do not square off in a fabricated triage to decide who provides superior care. There is no gold-plated Staff of Hermes to hang practice’s trophy case. Still, every practice begins a New Year expecting to thrive, and to remain competitive in their respective market. To this end, head physicians and leaders in management must identify and acquire resources that will ensure their continued success. They may also need to attempt to change, or to eliminate whatever it was that may have stood in the way of their success over the last 365 days.

Making roster moves

It’s no secret. The medical field is experiencing a physician shortage. We’ve touched upon how important hiring right is for a practice in previous posts, but it’s not easy to do without a rich field of talent to choose from. While experience may be a desirable trait for most hiring managers, it is unwise to count out residents. Don’t think of recent med-school grads as “round-2” selections. They are your first-round draft picks, your prime investment in the future of your practice. As such, superior scouting is paramount. In the interview process, ask every revealing question you can. Really try to gauge their personality, and temperament. Give them the benefit of a dry-run at your practice. These few days will function as a combine of sorts, to watch their abilities in action.

When courting the youngest and brightest, you must also remember that they know the position they are in. They can bargain for what they want. We already discussed what the current generation of medical practitioners value above all else. It isn’t wise to fight this, or to lure them with false visions of what the average work day at your practice is like. In the old days, the average physician changed jobs about twice in their entire career. New physicians figure to match this number within their first five years. Retention is key. Make sure a young hire knows not only the culture of your practice, but its trajectory in the coming years. Will your compensation model be changing? What about care delivery?

Making the good better

This next point applies to both your new “star” hires and your veteran staff. Think about the best performers at your practice, or the ones with the highest talent ceilings. You know who they are. What you should also know is that they may not continue their improvement and operate at their highest potential simply by showing up for work each day.

The growth of a worker is an ongoing and very active process. It is also one you must be involved in. Are you taking the time to teach and mentor them so they can eventually assume more advanced leadership roles and responsibilities? Are there opportunities for them to learn at your practice, ways to add new skills, and deepen the ones they already have? These opportunities and resources are keys in the present toward realizing your practice’s goals, and securing its expansion in the future. Make sure you have room for them in your budget.

This same plan applies to both your average, and lackluster performers. In the case of the former, schedule a meeting to ascertain their current knowledge and skill level. Then, point them in the direction of specific resources (digital, print, and otherwise) designed to address gaps, and which they can access on their own time, at their own pace. In a follow-up meeting, ask this worker what other additional support they may need going forward. Sometimes, people find it difficult to initiate change, or in this case, improvement, because they don’t know how or where to start. You will be providing that starting point, and showing them you care about the end-result.

When approaching the issue of poor performer, remember the old adage about those who make assumptions. There could be a number of reasons why they haven’t been performing their duties as well in the last year. Make sure you schedule the time with them to find out what these reasons may be. These employees may benefit from another type of coaching meant to focus, empower, and build their confidence back up. You do not necessarily have to fill this kind of roll. It can be delegated to someone else with the necessary skills, or filled from the outside.

Making changes when necessary

Sometimes, despite how many times you’ve tried to accomplish something, it never quite pans out. This can go on for a long time until you, as the head of your practice, realize one difficult truth: It’s not about drilling the prescribed route over and over again to perfection. It’s about realizing that running that route, and others just like it, will never get you to where you need to be. The playbook is out of date, and a major shift is needed in the way you get things done.

Even if your staff agrees that the old plays are ineffective, they may be highly resistant to change. It means learning a new way to use their skills, to change something that hasn’t been changed in a long time. Don’t let this deter you. Change is painful, but necessary. There will be those among you who are more pliable, more open to change. Designate them your coordinators.

The most difficult changes to make, the ugliest in fact, do not involve procedure. They involve personnel. Negativity, standoffishness, and narcissism are as toxic to your practice as resistance to change. One person exhibiting these traits on a regular basis can destroy what it is you are trying to build. Cuts become a necessary evil. If you’ve made your practice a place where team-players thrive, where they can grow and evolve, where leadership is understanding and accessible, where rewards and reprimands are administered fairly, and in a professional manner, then you’ve done all you can. No matter how skilled or indispensable a volatile employee may seem, they’ve got to go.

 

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

 

Patients for Life: Making Connections that Last

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In previous posts, we’ve touched upon the importance of the patient/doctor relationship, of practice visibility, and of marketing your practice based on various demographic information. These are all efforts toward increasing your patient base, earning their trust, and making sure they get the kind of service they need. Your patients trust in your judgement, and your efficacy as a physician. Your marketing campaign was memorable, witty, and also reassuring. Your practice is closer to where many of your patients live than your nearest competitor, and you offer more flexible payment options.

But is this the sum total of a real connection? In this post, we will discuss the term in a bit more depth, beyond marketing, practicality, convenience, and clinical savvy. How does a real, lasting patient connection start? What does it entail, and how do we keep that connection from weakening?

The birth of connection

The path toward long-term, meaningful connections with patients is relatively straightforward. Step one entails really putting you, and your practice out there in a meaningful, and effective way. In a previous post, we listed the various ways in which to advertise your practice prior to its grand opening. Traditional avenues like print—a story in the local newspaper—and radio are still viable. Utilizing digital strategies are, of course, a must. But becoming noticed is only half the battle. You must ask yourself how you want to be perceived. To this end, we really suggest hosting an open-house event.

This is your first chance to allow patients to really see you, not just a representation of you. This is a chance to learn about them, while showing them things about you. Being so open and candid with people is not easy for everybody. It is completely acceptable to draw up boundaries for yourself. But in order to connect, you must make yourself known, not just noticed. At the same time, you must prove a genuine desire to know those you will be treating. This should continue well after the open-house concludes, and your doors officially open.

…but how do they really feel?

Supremely confident. Highly competent. Consistently dependable. Who doesn’t like those attributes? Well, we certainly can’t think of anyone, but how a person determines if they genuinely like another human being is a bit more complex. Let’s backtrack a bit. As silly as it may sound, showing interest in a person’s life, making an earnest effort to actually learn who they are and identify a few common denominators, is paramount. These can speak more for you than your diplomas and licenses ever could.

Initiating a conversation with a patient means the world. It could start with a word or two about the recent performance of a mutually loved sports team. Or, you can following up with them about a family member—a son or daughter going off to college, a mother back in physical therapy, etc. Do you have children? Did you also have to take care of an aging parent? Share your experience. In doing so, you are doing the one thing that pretty much ensures you will be genuinely liked by your patients. You are letting them know that you like them.

“If you don’t like me, then I don’t like you.” Simple enough. Most people don’t commit themselves socially and emotionally to those who don’t reciprocate. Sharing with someone, and getting them to share in turn shows them that you value their company, and opinions. Remember to keep a light-hearted tone, smile, and laugh once on a while. Be aware of your facial expressions, as well as those of the person in front of you. We wear mistrust, annoyance, and impatience like masks, and just because your words aren’t patronizing doesn’t mean that your face isn’t actively betraying the sentiment.

The circle of trust

There is a fine line between liking someone and trusting them. Naturally, we expect that you practice medicine to the utmost standards of the profession. You are patient, and empathetic. You are transparent and forthright about treatments, billing, and other policies. These are the necessary starting points. But, as with getting a patient to like you, gaining their trust is a bit more complex, is easily lost, and can involve a variety of seemingly unrelated factors.

Did you ever serve in the military? Make this known, because it will go a very long way with veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD, or any kind of physical condition they sustained during their service. Outside the office, are you a “plain-clothes” kind of person? If so, then simply being seen out in the world by certain patients can provide a major boost.

One highly effective strategy is to make bio-cards available to all of your patients. These should summarize your life experiences and goals, providing a glimpse into who you are as a person, not just a physician. Make a stack of them available in your waiting room, and send them out through good, old fashioned mail to patients.

Assume nothing

Accessibility, shared experience, and transparency form the bedrock of lasting doctor-patient connections. There is, however, a tendency among physicians to sabotage what they try so hard to create. We all make assumptions. It is part of a default setting our mind goes into when we are only given a few pieces of information to go on about something, or someone. The key for a physician (for everyone, really) is to acknowledge this process as it is happening. Yes, making calculated assumptions based on available evidence and history is part of a doctor’s job. But always go back for a second, or third look before you leap. Beyond a misdiagnosis, choosing how to treat and communicate with patients based on appearances, or early speech and behavioral patterns and can have an alienating effect on them…and on yourself.

 

Have a great day!

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

 

How to Attract Only the Best Job Candidates

attract job candidates

Need workers but not looking forward to combing through resumes from applicants who clearly didn’t read the job description? In a best-case scenario, an employer will recruit a talent pool of the most qualified candidates with a high aptitude and passion for the work.

Traditionally, that involves reviewing endless data and choosing, at best, 10 percent of those who have applied. Then, there’s the rest of the process — phone interviews, aptitude tests and in-person interviews. How are you supposed to attract the cream of the crop when you have to go through that tedious process?

You start developing relationships with prospective candidates before you need to fill a spot on a tight deadline. You network and outline your specific needs from the start. Here are a few tips to secure the best candidates for your company.

1. Take advantage of professional and social networks.

An essential career development skill you had to learn from the jumpstart quickly is still invaluable to hiring the best workers. The only difference is that you’ve built a strong network of industry contacts through memberships with associations and trade groups, among others. You have a network to tap into to find the recruits that are the best fit for your company.

Not only that — you have access to your employee’s networks. Part of being in a professional network is helping your fellow professionals expand their access to job opportunities and resources through employee referral. Employees will be happy to help you source the right candidates. Encourage your employees to network and participate in conferences, trade shows and industry groups. In fact, pay for it because it will pay off for your company.

You’ll need to be ready with a contact plan to routinely and systematically reach out to preferred candidates with the job description and information online, through email, mail and fax. Encourage employees to forward an email to a prospective candidate in their network they think will fit into the company culture.

More companies and recruiters are utilizing social media as a hiring tool:

  • 85 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn.
  • 55 percent of recruiters use Facebook.
  • 47 percent of recruiters use Twitter.

For example, Facebook lists jobs like other job search engines, but many companies are posting directly on their page with tangible contact information to reach out to a live person on staff. Twitter allows you to take advantage of hashtags, and other social media platforms, such as Snapchat, offer unique snapshots into company culture as a recruiting tool.

2. Your website is prime recruiting real estate.

Job seekers are encouraged to research the companies thoroughly they apply to just as employers check up on candidates. Job seekers, especially new graduates, are likely perusing your website right now, and you’re missing out on an easy and effective recruiting solution.

 

Your website already has helpful information for job seekers, such as projects you’re currently working on and how your staff has been recognized in the organization and the community. What it may be lacking is an open door policy to encourage talent to reach out to the company. While job descriptions typically say “Don’t call us, we’ll call you (if you’re qualified),” pre-recruiting the best talent requires the adoption of reverse psychology to the traditional candidate search.

On your website, invite talent in by listing a prominent “Join Our Team” area that gives a bite-sized but in-depth overview of the company’s culture, values, mission and vision.

Job seekers who have fallen in love with your company will be able to submit their resume to be placed on file and receive emails with relevant job matches as the company need arises. Who knows? You may even find the perfect freelancer you never knew you needed.

3. Job descriptions are not a list.

Fun anecdotes that showcase an employer’s ability to laugh does pull job seekers in, but writing engaging and targeted job descriptions is more involved than throwing in funny one-liners.

You have listed the basic requirements and preferred skills, but help the candidate see themselves in the role by writing these descriptions as “a day in the life of our new employee that could be you!” Describe the role’s daily duties in detail as well as realistic opportunities that will likely come their way. Describe the company culture and work environment. In this area, many companies usually place “operating heavy equipment” and “exposure to loud noise,” but balance boring descriptions with pizazz and honesty.

Strive for transparency and creativity. Keep titles and headlines clear and concise. Job descriptions that take form solely as a list have no soul and create boundaries between companies and candidates.

Avoid combing through endless applications and attract the best workers. Take advantage of professional and social networks. Use your website as prime recruiting real estate and showcase the company’s vision, values and personality, which should also be reflected in engaging and targeted job descriptions. Use job descriptions for more than a list — help employees see themselves in the role.

If they see it, they will come because you’ve built it. Your talent pool will constantly replenish itself as you attract the best candidates who you’re more likely to retain because they truly love what they do and where they’ll be working.

 

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

Contact Form here

View my LinkedIn Profile
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How To Keep Your Employees From Mentally Disengaging Over the Holidays

1Goal setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the time of year when many people find their focus, energy, and engagement at work waning. And it’s perfectly understandable; from holiday activities to less sunlight to colder weather, it’s easy to lose some steam.

But for smart leaders, this can be a great time of year to make huge strides. While your competitors are hung-over from too many holiday parties, you can use this time to leapfrog them.

But why do some people use this time to charge faster and farther while others slowly cruise the holiday party circuit? Much of the difference has to do with goals. If you have a goal for which you feel passion, urgency and maybe even a twinge of anxiety, you’ll view the holiday season as an opportunity to crank out great work. But if your goals are more of the ‘meh’ variety, you’ll exert bare minimum effort.

Unfortunately, lots of people have very ‘meh’ goals.

if our employees vividly picture their goals, they could be 49% more engaged at work! For all the leaders reading this article, that data gives us one big managerial to-do.

One such question asks respondents to choose between these three statements:

  • I use lots of visuals to describe my goal (pictures, photos, drawings, mental images, etc.).
  • My goals are mostly built around numbers (like in a spreadsheet or on paper).
  • I don’t generally write long descriptions of my goals (maybe just one word or one number).

After test-takers answer questions about their goals, they’re asked to complete a few research questions, including “How do you feel about your current job?” And when we combine those responses with the aforementioned goal question, a disturbing finding emerges.

41% of employees who use lots of visuals to describe their goals love their job. But only 32% of people whose goals are built around numbers, and 27% of those who describe their goal with one word or number, love their job.

If someone told me that people that people who use visuals to describe their goals are approximately 50% more likely to love their job than people who describe their goal with one word or number, you can bet that I’d immediately make every employee use visuals to describe their goals. (Which is exactly what I do).

If you’ve ever looked for a simple, cheap and easy way to get your employees to feel more love for their job, this is it. First, have every employee write down their goals. Describe them in as much detail as possible, including:

  • Exactly what they’re going to achieve
  • How they’re going to achieve it (with specific descriptions of the activities they’re going to start and stop doing)
  • How they’re going to feel when their goal has been achieved
  • Why this goal is important to them

Once they’ve got this detailed description of their goal, turn that into a visual. Now, this may seem a little hokey, but it really does work. Pull out a pencil and paper and transform that detailed description into a picture. (If you really hate the idea of drawing freehand, use a graphic program or clip some images, but just note that nothing is quite as powerful as drawing your goal freehand).

And then, when you’ve got that picture, stick it on your desk and look at it every single day to remind yourself what you’re working to achieve while your competitors are out hitting the holiday party circuit.

Now, I will offer a caveat to everything I’ve just said. If your employees have been ‘killing it’ all year and they’re mentally fried, they may benefit more from an extended rest period than a big year-end push on their goals. But that means a true rest period, not dragging themselves into the office for busy work and showing up simply to while away their days. If you’re going to be at work, then be at work with visualized and robust goals. Go after those goals 100%. But if you’re going to rest up, then be out of the office and truly get rest.

Whatever you do, whether it’s resting or charging after hard goals, do it fully. But do not commit the mistakes of so many companies when they force their employees to come into the office and waste time for the next 3-4 weeks.

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

Contact Form here

View my LinkedIn Profile
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4 Piercing Interview Questions That Expose the Heart of a Job Candidate

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First, let’s acknowledge that the interview process is hard. It’s really difficult to figure out broad complicated insights into a person’s ability and working style before actually getting to work with them. I’d suggest there’s no single question that gets at everything a hiring manager wants to learn about a candidate, but there are a few key things a hiring manager wants to learn through the full interview process that can be summed up into three questions – in this order:

  1. Why are you excited about this job?

This one is all about seeing that candidates have done their research – that they’re familiar with the role and the company, that they know what they applied for and actually care about the job. For candidates, this gets their foot in the door. It’s the bare minimum to not disqualify themselves in a sea of qualified candidates.

  1. Tell me about a time when you [insert problem relevant to the role].

Now that their foot is in the door and it’s clear they’re actually interested in the role, it’s time to learn whether they have the competence to do the job. How have they’ve approached problems in their life or career? Have they built valuable, transferable skills? Have they shown that they can learn fast?

  1. Our business is experiencing [this specific problem]. How would you think through solving it?

This is something specific to your company – something you may have not solved yet and almost certainly something the candidate hasn’t solved in their career. This aim isn’t to see how they’ve solved problems in the past, but how they would approach it right now in the moment. What information do they think they need? What questions do they ask? What inferences can they make when they’re missing information?

It’s likely that the candidate has solved similar problems before, but hasn’t worked in your company, your industry, or your specific application – for most jobs, the person you hire will be required to flex this problems-solving muscle every day. If candidates gets far enough in the process, I want to hear what it’ll be like to work with them while they’re grappling with a new problem.

4.Are you aligned with our values?*

This can be a way to separate two candidates who may be equally competent, and more importantly, to determine whether this person will be a productive contributor in your company culture. The answers can tell you a lot about a candidate.

The forms this question takes completely depends on your company’s values. Here I might ask “What’s a time you had to do something impossible?” to get at our belief in making no little plans; or “When have you solved a problem by collaborating with others?” to get at the importance of working together. Or my favorite: “How has luck played a role in your life?” It’s tricky because candidates want to show they’re competent – that they’re responsible for their success. But it says a lot about a person’s sense of gratitude, positivity, and willingness to work and learn together to see them ascribe some of their success to standing on the shoulders of giants.

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

Contact Form here

View my LinkedIn Profile
Join our LinkedIn Group
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Rules of Engagement: Keeping Staff Focused

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Ask someone if they are truly engaged at work, and you might get some version of the following response: “Yeah, I guess. I do my job. My boss stays off my back. I go home.” But employee engagement encompasses more than simply doing an adequate job, while on the job. Unfortunately, there have been a number of polls released in the last few years indicating that an overwhelming number of Americans are disengaged at their place of employment.

Medicine is essential work, especially in the context of private practice. It is a profession filled with daily challenges in the front of the office as well as the back. But even medical professionals, from doctors, to nurses, to coders and receptionists experience some level burnout, or a sense, after a while, that their efforts don’t matter. The result is a loss of focus, as well as a sense of pride and purpose gained from what they do. Head physicians and office managers must do what they can to keep this effect from spreading. Here are a few strategies that may help prevent the Sisyphus Effect from overwhelming your office.

Start at the beginning

And by this, we mean:

  • The interview. When in the process of hiring, you think chiefly about the necessary education, hard skills and experience, right? Well, yes, but there’s more to consider. You need to be sure that your number one candidate understands the working culture of your office, and that it is one they can see themselves contributing well to. In order to be a continuously contributing and engaged employee, they must be able to understand, to see exactly how their job contributes to the goals of your practice.

 

  • Onboarding. In a previous post, we discussed the importance of the onboarding process for a new hire. Failing to successfully integrate a new employee into your practice can have dire long-term effects. Ask yourself this simple question: if you felt you never received the right instruction and resources to do your job from the very beginning, would you feel engaged in your work? Make sure that all employees, from day one, have access to the necessary equipment and support, and that they clearly understand the right protocol for every situation that may arise.

 

  • A beautiful friendship. All Casablanca references aside, you must be sure to build strong relationships with your employees, and therefore encourage them to do the same among each other. This goes beyond a mere “working relationship” into a true sense of solidarity, and loyalty. This takes time, and consistency. Meet with your staff somewhat regularly. These meetings allow you to track goals, praise achievements, and offer sound advice.

Participative management

This may sound like one of those newfangled buzzwords thrown around at leadership seminars, but it’s actually a very simple concept. In a previous post, we highlighted the importance of generating input and feedback from your team, and putting it into practice. If they feel that their input contributed to some major decision or change about to occur at your practice, your employees will feel a sense of respect. Beyond this, they will likely feel a newfound sense of motivation because they can assert some control over their jobs, and claim ownership for what they’ve achieved.

Putting people first

  • The downs. You are used to putting the needs of others ahead of everything, giving even the most obstinate patients respect, tolerance, and the highest quality care. But just as each patient is more than just another paycheck, your staff must be treated as much more than just a means to procuring that paycheck. Yes, efficiency in a private practice is important, especially in these times. But you must show that you honestly care about your employees. Are slip-ups becoming an issue with someone? Find out why, and offer help. More than just wanting to get the job done right, make sure they know that you want them to do it right again. Doctors and other medical professionals find themselves on the frontlines of the human condition every day. Sometimes, we must face those conditions in our private lives, and they can follow us around. Let a staff member know that you and their other peers will do what you can to help them overcome personal tragedy, or any other difficulties so they can once again do their jobs to the best of their ability.

 

  • The ups. Just as it is important to address your staff in times of trouble, you should keep abreast of other significant events in their lives. Marriages, graduations, and awards ceremonies are all perfect examples. If your PA’s daughter got that coveted softball scholarship, let them know how happy you are for them. If one of your nurses was just proposed to, why not send her a congratulatory bouquet of flowers? If your receptionist’s son, whom you treated for years, is graduating from college and you are invited to the party being thrown in his honor, try your best to attend it.

 

  • The power of praise. We may get older, but words of encouragement, gratitude, and praise for a job done exceedingly well never go out of fashion, or lose their positive effect on us. Letting staff know that you sincerely appreciate what they do—what they bring to the table each and every day—is a small gesture that can cut through monotony and negativity and reset their desire to go above and beyond, to be a lynchpin around your office. This is best done in person, but a thoughtful, articulate e-mail or letter can work, too.

Providing R&R…&R.

What do you think those letters stand for? Let’s begin with the most obvious choice.

  • Rest, and relaxation. This may go without saying for many, but be sure to give your staff time off when they need it throughout the year, and if you can, especially around the holidays. During these periods in particular, try to draw up alternative work schedules to give your employees the time they need for holiday and family-related things. Even the most dedicated, motivated, engaged employee can succumb to stress and fatigue. Help them to make sure that doesn’t happen.

 

  • Rewards. You spend a lot of time outlining your practice’s goals, and motivating your staff to meet them. What happens when you actually do meet them? What if your employees have been, as they say, “crushing it” for a while now? A verbal pat on the back only goes so far. Bonuses are certainly nice. So are gift certificates, and other incentives. (Of course, do remember to be consistent when doling these incentives out)

 

  • Resources. Office-wide resources and ancillary trainings are especially helpful during the onboarding process, but you should make these available to everyone, year-round. Offering your employees the chance to build upon their skills and advance their careers ultimately increases their value to you, while sending them a message that you are willing to invest in them.

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

 

Filling the Void: Dealing with Physician Turnover

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We don’t often think of a private medical practices as examples of a “revolving door” business model. Sure, doctors want to see new faces in their waiting rooms. A deeper patient base means increased revenue. But they are more concerned with keeping the patients they gain coming back for years to come. Staff are no different. Some will retire. Others may be let go for various reasons, or move on. But the objective for any practice, as we’ve often touched upon here, is to assemble the right team for the long haul.

Unfortunately, turnover is becoming an increasing issue for private practices, and not just when it comes to front and back-end staff. Losing a physician, a provider, presents a unique series of challenges and complications. Today, we’ll discuss a few things to keep in mind when losing a physician, and what to think about when replacing them.

The exit interview

We aren’t talking about nuclear fallout here. We are talking about the (unexpected) departure of another physician at your practice. Let’s assume, however, that this individual was highly capable, liked by all peers and coworkers, and routinely received rave review from patients. Their absence has effectively left a crater-sized hole in your practice. What should happen next?

Your hiring manager should conduct a professional, albeit polite exit interview with the departing physician. Why is this important? More than just ensuring that you both depart on good terms, this meeting will determine exactly why this doctor is leaving. “A better opportunity elsewhere” may sound cut and dry. But what makes the prospect of working at a competitor’s practice a few towns over so much more satisfying than staying at yours?

Maybe your practice already conducts exit interviews. But, who exactly do you have facilitating them? Departing doctors are rarely truthful about their reasons for leaving. Make certain that the person conducting the interview, as well as the verbiage used, elicits an honest response from the interviewee. Ask the right questions, starting with how things could have been different for them. The answers you receive should not be taken personally, nor should you respond right then and there. This person is giving you vital data to examine that can help you keep other doctors from walking out the door in the future.

Acquiring new talent

The physician recruitment market is becoming more and more competitive, thanks to shortages. When your practice needs to bring on another doctor, you must start the process immediately. The hiring process itself can take months, or even a year, depending on specialty. Your lead time becomes very important. It cuts a potentially harmful vacancy gap, and puts you ahead of competitors who also need to fill their ranks.

While it’s true that you are trying to bring on the best doctor for your practice, what you need to be asking is “what can my practice do for them, and theirs?” When interviewing new physicians, be sure to show them how the culture of your practice matches their values and needs. Try to get to know your candidate a little beforehand. If you know they have a family, then it’s more than a safe bet that proximity, commute time, and a flexible work schedule are factors. If these fall to your advantage, make them part of your “opening pitch.”

There is a certain balance that must be observed here. You want to make your practice seem like an attractive option for a new hire, but if it becomes clear pretty early on that their needs will not be met, then it’s time to move on. You and your hiring manager don’t want to waste your time and resources, not to mention the candidate’s time. Also, you must get a sense early on of their work ethic and practice style. They may have graduated at the top of their class. Their work history may be flawless. Their temperament may also make them a terrible fit for your practice.

Utilizing technology

As we’ve already covered, the hiring process is a lengthy one, and you don’t want to waste time or resources during the process. The latter also applies to getting word out of a staff opening. Ensuring that your practice’s website is mobile-friendly is the first step. A flash e-mail marketing campaign takes your accessibility a step further, though it must also be mobile-friendly. Social media is invaluable, and free. Make sure to promote the job opening on your practice’s Facebook page.

Being accommodating extends to interviews. It is wise to offer the option of online interviews via platforms like Skype, and Facetime, to circumvent scheduling conflicts. In addition to proving your tech savvy, this shows your flexibility. Flexibility, in thought as well as action, is key in gracefully parting ways with a physician, and successfully replacing them.

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

Wait…Now What Happens?: The Importance of a Workplace Manual

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Look it up in the guide book. It’s a very simple answer to a usually open-ended question, and one that is often incredibly frustrating to staff seeking clarity, or an on-the-spot solution to a recurring problem. However, the importance of a formally drafted, annually updated set of guidelines governing emergency protocols, the handling of patient information, and proper office conduct extends far beyond the lead physician’s convenience. The truth is that an office manual can be your first, and often best protection against liability.

An increasing problem

Unfortunately, malpractice, and employment-related lawsuits have been on the rise in recent years, and fines doled out for everything from basic negligence, sexual harassment, and even racial discrimination have increased. It goes without saying that legal action taken against a practice can be very harmful to its reputation. Should this particular practice fall on the wrong side of a judge’s ruling, it can be financially damaging as well.

A major cause of this problem has been the failure of practices to create, update, and properly comply with the rules and procedures set down in an employment manual. While few, some private practices still do not have a formally drafted manual governing how to handle most, if not all potential issues at the workplace. Some practices utilize a kind of loose, ad-hoc approach. Perhaps worse, others have manuals drafted, but never meaningfully enforced.

Custom built

Once in a while, we encourage readers to find templates for doing things online, or in books (the outline for a proper disciplinary warning was one such example). However, we must advise against settling for a “store-brand” employment manual, or copying a colleague’s. The state you practice medicine in has its own set of laws, and your employee manual must reflect them. Your practice itself is unique. Sure, your colleague’s manual for handling the day to day in his emergency care center may look fantastic, but as a primary care physician, you will be faced with your own set of nuanced circumstances. The size of your practice, number of staff you employ and patients you treat all set you apart.

Properly Distributed

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of making sure that an employment manual is not only updated, but made accessible to everyone, from the front end of the practice to the back. This is step one, and it’s simple enough. Make sure there are multiple copies, that they are easy to read, and easily accessed. Make doubly sure that a personal copy has been formally given to each staff member, they have been trained on these procedures, or have signed off on having thoroughly read and understood them. Chances are good that your staff will need to revisit them from time to time, but in a legal sense the directions were valid, accessible, and reviewed once.

A detailed, straightforward manual covering all employee issues will successfully prevent legal disputes on the grounds that a staff member did not understand the rules. What’s more, they are less likely to commit costly errors resulting in malpractice claims. If in the unfortunate event a staff member must be let go for their (repeated) negligence, you can stand by the strength and clarity of your employee manual. Everything they needed to know was, in fact, right there.

(And one more pretty important detail to remember for head physicians: make sure you’ve read it too. You must lead by example, and put your own standards into practice daily.)

Manuals for the digital age

Let’s face it: the revolution already happened, and no, it wasn’t televised (unless you do the bulk of your TV watching via the internet). These days, patient confidentiality is faced with increased threat in the digital realm. Speaking to one particular issue, practices are advised to adopt an employee social media policy. This policy can outright prohibit access of personal social media accounts through office computers and other technology, or ban use of social media that is in no way directly beneficial to the practice.

It can be severely damaging to a private practice if an employee sends or receives anything that may be defamatory or inappropriate, that may violate HIPPA laws concerning the personal health information of patients, or that may offend, or endanger a co-worker. Moreover, the office desktop should not be used to view and update one’s fantasy football roster. Some things can simply wait until later.

Employees must be reminded that, when on their own time, they are personally responsible for what they post in cyberspace. The confidentiality rules mentioned above still apply. In addition, they must make it clear that their opinions are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views and practices of where they work. If a verbally inclined staff member would like to start a blog, or other social media account hosted by your practice, great—as long as they got your express permission to do so, and they do not use this account to upload photos, documents, or other highly sensitive media.

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

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3 Quick Tips on Hiring the Right Employees

 

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For startups and small or growing businesses, hiring your first (or 50th) employee is a significant milestone. And during a time when your business is solidifying its culture and brand, hiring the right people is also a key part of branding your business.

Small business owners often feel the pressure to hire the right employees. Small businesses cannot always afford the most competitive salaries or other perks of larger businesses. But, it’s financially risky to hire the wrong candidates, as the cost of losing employees is also expensive.

Here are three tips for small business owners on hiring the right employees – to help both your bottom line and your brand you’ve worked so hard to build.

#1) Evaluate the Position You’re Hiring For Now, and In the Future

Many small businesses and startups are in the phase of growth. The company grows and changes, and so do positions. Consider the candidate for the role you’re hiring for now, as well as roles in the future.

Will they grow with the company? What department can they help build or develop? Hire future managers now – those who are excited about rolling up their sleeves and doing the grind work now, knowing they are helping to build a successful business.

#2) Hire Attitude and Willingness Over Skills and Experience

This is related to #1. If you hire candidates for their attitude, as well as their willingness to learn and grow, you’ll have employees who also grow and mold with the company. Will they be motivated by growth and taking on new opportunities? Can they add to the business in a unique or needed way?

#3) Hire Fast, Fire Fast

Meaning, if you find a qualified candidate pull the trigger. Do your hiring due-diligence but don’t delay the hiring process or over analyze. If you follow the traditional mantra “hire slow, fire fast” you might be wasting valuable time with the position going unfilled, or lose the candidate to another company.

Similarly, small businesses and startups cannot afford to keep candidates who are not performing or under-performing. At small businesses every employee is important and every employee impacts your brand and your bottom line.

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547