A shockingly high number of US businesses don’t have a formal strategy for employee retention. Considering the time and money it takes to successfully educate the folks who work in your medical practice, if you haven’t considered retention, you’re not thinking clearly. Here are five no-nonsense strategies to help you keep the valuable employees you so carefully hired and trained.
- Hire right. Retention starts with the interview process. Get to know the top candidates as well as you possibly can, and don’t be afraid to use personality tests to help you determine if potential hires are a good fit for the job and your office culture. Successful hiring is time consuming, but hiring the wrong people is expensive and ultimately eats up more of your time.
- Make recognition personal. When you offer a reward that makes someone feel recognized and motivated, you greatly increase the chance they’ll stay put. Don’t offer one-size-fits-all incentives like bonuses. Get to know your employees and give them what they need, whether it’s money, recognition, schedule flexibility, additional training, or a combination of these.
- Be flexible when possible. This is a slippery slope—you try to be accommodating, and before you know it, your schedule has derailed. But being 100% rigid about work hours is not the solution. Instead, be honest with your staff about the need for them to be punctual and to not take advantage. Then be as understanding as you can when genuine emergencies take place in your employees’ lives. Ease some of the burden by cross training your staff so they can cover each other’s sick, vacation, and emergency absences.
- Help employees develop. Virtually everyone likes to learn, provided it’s a skill they believe will help them do their job better or advance. Offer plenty of these opportunities—it’s a highly affordable retention tactic.
- Address underperformance. There are a bevy of reasons why someone isn’t performing as well as expected. It’s worth the effort to discover the underlying causes because many can be addressed and solved.
The more the economy improves, the more incented your staff will be to seek better opportunities. Play it smart by proactively addressing retention issues and be prepared to spend a little more to keep valuable staffers in place.
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