Article Date: 7/1/2007

Energize Your Employees
staffing solutions

By Bob Levoy, O.D.

Energize Your Employees

Employees who feel invisible and unappreciated affect your practice.

"There is a crisis in business today: the invisible employee," say Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, co-authors of "The Invisible Employee: Realizing the Hidden Potential in Everyone" (Wiley, 2006). Feeling overlooked, ignored and unappreciated, invisible employees do no more than is absolutely required of them and often grumble about their jobs, their boss or the practice itself — to anyone who will listen, including patients.

Invisible employee epidemic

An astounding 65% of Americans reported receiving no recognition for good work, according Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., co-authors of "How Full is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life" (Gallup Press, 2004).

The end result of having employees who feel invisible and unappreciated: low morale, productivity and practice profitability.

The sad thing, say Gostick and Elton, is that most managers have no idea about the unhealthy state of their workplaces or the real needs of the people who work there. One of the main reasons for this "blind spot" is the lack of staff feedback about their job-related needs and expectations.

"And why is that [acknowledging the real needs of employees] important?" these authors ask. "Because people who feel appreciated, do what they do, better." It's that simple.

When is the last time you:

" …Each of your employees wants to be seen, to be validated and recognized," say Gostick and Elton."

Action step

Think of someone on your team who deserves recognition for an above-and-beyond effort, and send a handwritten note of thanks to her home. Tie your message to a specific core value that is important to your team. Make it specific. Examples of core values: excellence, teamwork, service that exceeds patients' expectations, etc.

Explain exactly what the employee did that was outstanding and moved you closer to your practice goals.

I've seen such notes tacked on walls, pulled out of wallets, kept in a special place — and invariably, treasured. Why? Because recognition is so rare.

"Outstanding leaders," said Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, "go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish."OM

BOB LEVOY'S NEWEST BOOK "222 SECRETS OF HIRING, MANAGING AND RETAINING GREAT EMPLOYEES IN HEALTHCARE PRACTICES" WAS PUBLISHED BY JONES & BARTLETT PUBLISHERS. YOU CAN REACH HIM BY E-MAIL AT B.LEVOY@ATT.NET.


Optometric Management, Issue: July 2007