Have you set a New Year’s resolution this year? For the first time in a few years, I challenged myself to find something to work on that would help me both personally and professionally. After several weeks of contemplating, I settled on providing and seeking out honest feedback. I am aware of how important feedback can be to the success of a team but needed to put that knowledge to good use. I set a goal of providing feedback either at work or in my relationships at least once a week and asking for feedback once a month. Two weeks in…and I was 0-2.
I find that the biggest excuse I have used is "I have no time". I mean, I had 15 other things I want to get done so, of course, I didn’t have time to give feedback on my co-worker’s meeting last week. I didn’t even realize I had allowed myself to get too busy until I was in a meeting today and some of the same concerns came up. If I had made feedback a priority, my peer would have been afforded the opportunity to improve. I took the time today to offer feedback to my peer and they were grateful to receive it. It also renewed my commitment to providing and asking for more honest feedback.
Trying to connect with staff as the Practice Owner or Manager to give feedback can be just as difficult. There are patients to be seen, important business-related deadlines and decisions to be made and you probably have personal obligations as well. Although it may not seem like it, feedback is important to your staff’s long-term commitment to the practice and their overall performance. The better their performance, the more successful your practice. The more successful your practice, the more staff you get to hire! (You see the funny irony here?)
It is true that there is only a limited amount of time during the work day to get everything done. So, one-on-one meetings with your staff that last 2 full hours are probably out of the question. Here are some more realistic suggestions for getting started:
Plan to meet with each of your employees, one-on-one, for no more than 10 minutes over the next quarter. These sessions do not need to be formal or written out. It’s a chance to have a semi-casual conversation with your employee. The three areas to touch on are contributions the employee makes to the practice, areas of opportunity the employee has that you would like them to focus on and requesting feedback about the practice.
Take the remaining few moments after the employee leaves to write down some notes about how the conversation went. Notes allow you to remember what you spoke about the next time you connect. It helps prevent you from addressing the same concerns over and over again.
Repeat in 3 months!
By including more feedback into your practice, you will see the benefit of more engaged and aware employees, higher productivity and more awareness of your employee’s experiences. Feedback can help you identify the staff that are the best fit for your practice. If you start the year with a little feedback, reaching your practice goals will be much easier. Retention will become strong and performance will rise. Won’t you join me in making a New Year’s resolution for more feedback in 2019?
Amy Alvarez, SHRM-CP, joined IDOC in February 2018 as Human Resources Consultant. Amy has experience in human resources in healthcare and retail, management in big box and specialty retail stores and physician recruitment. Through these roles and training, Amy is well-versed in recruitment and hiring strategies for “hard to fill” roles, dealing with low productivity, helping encourage employee engagement, on-boarding, training, day-to-day management in a retail setting, creating growth in retail business, employee relations, and so much more. For questions or comments about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.