Article Date: 5/1/2013

Easing the H.R. Challenge
human resources

Easing The HR Challenge

Manage your employees efficiently by using these tips.

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TRUDI CHAREST

Do you have a hard time finding good eyecare employees? Are you surprised when an employee does not do what is expected of him/her? Unfortunately these are common problems in many optometric practices.

However, they are preventable, in most cases, by utilizing these three human resource tips in your practice.

1. Inform employees what is expected of them.

Employees need a formal job description immediately upon starting employment at your practice. This starts them off in the right direction so they can grow in their position. Job descriptions can always be edited, added to and altered. They should be an ongoing working document as employees advance through the practice.

If you want employees to do well, give them the knowledge, training and direction they need to get the job done. This continues with designing a training program suited to their position, developing office policy and procedures as well as spending the valuable one-on-one time to ensure direction sticks.

Bottom line: Employees don’t know what you don’t tell them.

2. Give your employees rules.

An office without rules leads to chaos and internal conflict. Even the smallest office should have an “employee handbook.” This takes the guesswork out of operation guidelines. There are many resources online to help you build your employee handbook, but equally as valuable is the employee. (see “Employee Handbook Items,” below.)

Make it a team project, or assign each staff member a policy to complete for the handbook. Hold a staff meeting to discuss and agree on all policies and procedures.

Bottom line: If you’re employees build your rule book, they are more likely to live by it.

Employee Handbook Items

ABOUT THE COMPANY

HOURS OF WORK/WORK SCHEDULES

ATTENDANCE/ABSENCE POLICY

VACATION/SICK LEAVE/HOLIDAYS/PERSONAL DAYS

PAY/COMPENSATION

OVERTIME

BENEFITS/INSURANCE

TERMINATION

DRUG/ALCOHOL/SAFETY/WORKPLACE/POLICY

DRESS CODE

TELEPHONE & COMPUTER USE

3. Provide feedback.

Perform formal employee performance evaluations yearly and feedback sessions quarterly. This schedule ensures you dedicate time to each employee. It also tells them you respect and appreciate their feedback enough to schedule it into your routine and in place of patients.

During evaluations, address performance improvements, review actual results and set goals for the next quarter. Employees like hearing what they have done well, so start and end on encouraging notes. You get more out of people who you build up rather than tear down.

If done properly, employees look forward to these sessions as their time to hear positive feedback, constructive direction and receive an open communication channel for them to discuss items of importance. Also, consider making evaluations a celebration by taking the employee to lunch.

Bottom line: Don’t do all the talking. Take the opportunity to listen to your employees.

Our most valuable asset

Staff make or break our practices every day. However, we get out of our staff what we give. The more we give (direction, rules, training, etc.), the more likely we get back what we expect. OM

TRUDI CHAREST IS THE PRESIDENT AND TRAINER FOR TOTAL FOCUS TRAINING & CONSULTING AS WELL AS PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF JOBS4ECPS, AN ONLINE EYECARE JOBSITE. EMAIL HER AT TCHAREST@EYECOMMEND.CA, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: May 2013, page(s): 39