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Office Workflow: Coach & Retain or Hire New?

Posted by Megan Ludzenski on Jul 20, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Having an employee in your practice that isn't performing up to par can hurt your office workflow, but how do you handle a less than perfect staff member? Many practices face the debate of either taking the time to coach the employee to help mold them into a great staff member, or just letting them go and finding someone new. While hiring new may be tempting, when it comes to smaller imperfections, it is often better to coach the employee through the situation. Many times, the employee might not be aware of the problem and will be willing to improve with a little guidance and direction. Every situation is different, but here are some reasons for why coaching and retaining your employees is better than hiring new.

Why It's Better for Your Office Workflow to Coach & Retain Instead of Hiring New

office workflow
Staff Turnover is Costly

Going through the process of hiring and training a new staff member in your office is more costly and time consuming than taking the opportunity to coach your current staff. On average, replacing an employee can cost anywhere from 6-9 months salary. If you're turning over employees at the first sight of any imperfection, you're costing yourself money! Hiring new is necessary after a certain point, but we want to encourage you to try and coach the employee through the situation first.

You'll Build Stronger Employees

Coaching an employee through an issue shows them the best way to handle various situations, thus strengthening their skill-set. We don't have to tell you that employees with greater skill-sets are more equipped to handle customers and tasks in your practice more efficiently. By taking the time to improve your staff, you'll be strengthening your overall practice. And, it's motivating for staff members to see that their boss is invested in making them a stronger asset to the team. Bring on happier employees.

You'll Have a Happier Team

Coaching employees shows your commitment to invest in them. By not giving up on a staff member you'll help inspire them to be motivated and improve. This doesn't just affect the employee you're trying to coach; showing other staff members your dedication to the team can help boost employee morale.

You Might Increase Recruitment

When you coach your employees and work with them to improve themselves, word will get out. Hopefully you will have employees that talk good about the benefits of working for your practice. Being known as the place that puts investment into their staff can help you recruit employees in the future when you do need to hire.

Tips for Coaching:

  • Build a Relationship from the Start - It is easier to coach an employee when there is already a trusting relationship in existence. Get to know all of your employees from the beginning of their time in your office, that way if the need for coaching arieses, the strong relationship is already there. 
  • Schedule a Direct Meeting - When it comes time to sit down and address any problems, be clear from the time you schedule the meeting what it is you need to talk about. The more open you are, the more successful the meeting will be.
  • Look for Agreement - It isn't enough just to state the problem to the employee. The employee needs to understand the issue and recognize the consequences that will be brought about if the situation is not resolved.
  • Explore Alternatives Together - Discuss what can be done to fix the issue. Let the employee offer their own ideas and input.
  • Let the Employee Choose - Have the employee decide which route to take to resolve the issue. This increases the chances of the problem being solved successfully.
  • Provide Feedback - Get together with your employee regularly to discuss the improvements they are making and to offer additional suggestions. 

Coaching an employee through a tough spot might seem time consuming, but we want to urge you to look past the short-term efforts, and on to the long-term results.

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Topics: Tips for ECPs, Office Manager, Practice Management

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