Monday, April 2, 2018

10 Employee Turnover Myths You Can Bust

Employee turnover is a growing concern. However, there are ways you can bust these 10 employee turnover myths and increase your employee engagement. 

Myth 1: It's Inevitable in Healthcare

If you work in healthcare, senior care in particular, employee turnover is guaranteed. It's hard work and jobs in other sectors are more enticing. Or does it have to be? The answer is no. Creating a culture in your company that focuses on the purpose (or the why) for the work instead of the functions (or the list of tasks) can change hard work into intensely rewarding work.

Myth 2: It's The Lack of Pay

Medicare dictates the wages of workers. When fast food places offer more money for easier work, what keeps employees from making the switch? As it turns out, praise is a bigger motivator than pay. This doesn't mean that people will work for nothing, of course. Bills arrive in every mailbox. However, employees are more motivated to work for a company where they are appreciated rather than for a company where they are paid better but work in an environment where their efforts go unnoticed.

Creating an environment where recognition is emphasized doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming, or insincere. When gathering feedback from customers about their experiences, ask them if they would like to recognize any of your employees. Create employee achievement certificates and take time to recognize those who go above and beyond. Encourage co-workers to share positive interactions they have with one another. Begin with a top-down approach of providing praise for work well done.

Myth 3: Our Small Business Just Can't Compete

Large companies and hospitals have a great ability to draw talented prospective employees to their doors. However, this doesn't mean that a small business has to pick up the less-desirable workers. Oftentimes, small businesses provide greater hands-on opportunities. Tout the career growth opportunities that your small business has to offer talented employees.

Myth 4: Managers Don't Affect Turnover

Does this one even need to be said? I mean, who wants a micromanaging, quick-tempered, or uninspiring manager? Obviously, no one wants to work with a manager who makes life miserable. But did you know that the way your managers perceive their team members can also make a difference in whether employees stay or start looking for new work? Managers who help their team members recognize their talents and encourage them to continue growing can help employees stay engaged. Encourage your managers to identify how their team members' strengths fit into the organization's goals and values. Then provide managers with the tools they need to help their team members continue to increase these skills. Instead of thinking about training as a one-time event, encourage continuous learning among all employees. 

Additionally, a company culture that encourages its staff to apply for positions within the company can help employees feel there are opportunities for growth where they are. Highlight lateral career paths within your company in addition to vertical career paths. Encourage managers to help their team find the work they love without leaving. 

Myth 5: Turnover Only Affects Finances

Losing valued employees takes a much larger toll on your company than just the expense of replacing the individual. When an employee chooses to leave, you lose the customer relationships they have garnered, their productivity, and the knowledge they've acquired while working for you. Turnover also affects your company culture.

Myth 6: It Doesn't Correlate with Culture

According to Wikipedia, culture is defined as the social behavior and norms found in human societies. What are the normal social behaviors in your company? Is there a high amount of negative competition? Do employees hoard information from other employees? Are employees forced to choose between family and work life? Are the staff members building positive connections with others? Does your company tell the truth to itself? Are your employees happy at work? Are your employees sick and/or tired?

The culture of your company makes a huge difference in how your employees perceive their job. In fact, author Brent Gleeson argues in that it's the most important aspect of employee retention.

Myth 7: New Employees Are Most Likely to Leave

Starting a new job can be challenging, but the path your employees take doesn't have to be treacherous. Providing a strong onboarding program can make the transition smooth. Be sure not to confuse orientation with onboarding. Onboarding consists of acclimating and engaging employees throughout the first 90 days, and even the first year.

When I started working at Pinnacle, I received a card from my new coworkers, welcoming me. It was a small thing, but I meant a lot. Other things that can help an employee acclimate include the following:
  • A peer or mentor who can provide support
  • One-on-one time with the manager on the first day to build rapport
  • A ready-to-go work space
  • Thorough training, along with clear instructions regarding compliance
  • Consistent communication 

Myth 8: They Won't Tell You Why They're Leaving

Many companies miss out on a valuable piece of information when employees voluntarily leave—they don't ask WHY. It's a common misconception that employees won't tell the truth. However, asking exiting employees can be a source of priceless information. You can learn what about their job caused dissatisfaction, suggestions they have for improving company culture, and more. Just remember that hearing constructive feedback can sometimes be difficult. Be sure to accept the feedback without becoming defensive or combative. Incorporating changes based on exiting feedback can help your company resolve company culture and operational challenges, and increase employee engagement.

Myth 9: It's Good If You Don't Have Turnover

If your company has had the same employees for years without any turnover, that may not be such a good thing. Turnover can be good because it brings in new ideas and new talent. It can also help you reduce the number of disengaged employees in your ranks.

Myth 10: Turnover is Always Bad

Not all turnover is created equal. Employees who are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work create a negative impact on your company culture and your company's level of productivity. While you may be able to help some of the not engaged employees to become engaged, it's unlikely that the actively disengaged employees will become actively engaged. In these situations, it may be best to encourage your actively disengaged employees to find new opportunities elsewhere. Thus, leaving openings you can fill with more engaged employees.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Treat Everyone with Importance

Part 7 of 7: Treat everyone with importance

7 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Patient interaction with staff members has the largest impact on customer satisfaction. Wait...did you catch that? The thing that influences customer satisfaction the most is your employees. When treated with importance, clients are more likely to forgive shortcomings. This rule is integral to all seven tips.

How do you do it, though, when you have many patients and are pressed for time? Here are four key behaviors to incorporate into your routine:

Love is spelled T-I-M-E. 

I have five siblings. One day, we were talking together about our mom and who she liked best. We were all convinced that we were her favorite. After squabbling about it for several minutes, we went and asked my mom who of us was her favorite. She said she didn't have favorites so we pressed to know the truth. "C'mon, Mom. Who's your favorite?" She smiled and responded, "Dad's my favorite." We all rolled our eyes and laughed.

The thing I learned that day was that my mom, although she was busy, took time to listen to our stories and find out what was important to us. She made sure that even if we didn't get a lot of one-on-one time with her that the time we did get with her was quality time.

The secret art of listening's no secret. Listening is one of the best ways you can show someone that you think they are important. Just remember that listening has to do with more than your ears. Actively listening to someone means that you are paying attention to not just what they say, but how they say it through voice intonations and body language. Active listening requires taking in all the verbal and nonverbal cues to understand fully what someone is trying to communicate.

Be genuine

Why? People will trust you more, according to Psychology Today. "We believe [that] those who are true to themselves are also likely to be truer and more honest with us." So embrace your authentic side and show your patients the real you. If authenticity isn't your thing...yet, here's a great poster to help you start practicing it.

Treat others the way THEY want to be treated

"They spoiled me rotten," the patient said in an interview. "They made me feel alive again." Now that's what we want to hear! Everyone is unique in their needs. When you take time to get to know people, that's when you can truly give them those things they need—simply because you understand their needs.

Want to read the other six ways to improve patient satisfaction? Start with part 1: Invest in Your Employees.

Friday, February 23, 2018

4 Ways to Lose Wait

Part 6 of 7: 4 Ways to Lose Wait

7 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction

A common complaint from those receiving care is excessive waiting. Waiting creates a high level of frustration and sends the message that the individual who is waiting is not important.

Countless hours of research have gone into the study of waiting, and it isn't surprising that waiting can produce unhappy customers. Based on the 8 factors that make the wait seem longer from World of Psychology on PsychCentral, here are some tips for making it less painful to wait.

Unavoidable waits

Sometimes waiting is unavoidable. So how do you manage patient expectations without slowing down the process? Here are four tips for dealing with unavoidable waits:


The aid was supposed to come at 10 a.m. but now it's almost 10:40 a.m. and the patient is feeling like they've been forgotten. Simply letting the person know that you're running late can greatly reduce waiting anxiety. The most common complaint respondents give is that the agency doesn’t communicate with them what time their aide, therapist or nurse will stop by. Find out if the person has a time conflict that is creating stress for them. Reschedule if needed.

Be present and attentive

The third most common complaint regarding waiting is that when the employee is rushing to get to their next appointment, the patient feels less important or cheated. To avoid this, explain to the patient that you need to take a minute to call the office and let them know you are 30 minutes behind. That way you won’t be rushing in their appointment and the next person will know what to expect. Another thing you can do is let the person know that once you arrive, you will provide them with the best quality of care. This sets the expectation that although you are late, they are important to you.

No excuses

It's no surprise that things don't always work out the way you plan. However, using excuses to justify long wait times can further exacerbate the problem.

Say "Thank you" not "I'm sorry"

When you finally rush in the door, instead of apologizing for running late, thank the patient for their patience. By doing this, it will help you and the patient to transition from the frustration of waiting to the happiness of being assisted. You may want to keep inexpensive but thoughtful items on hand, such as lollipops, to offer to patients as a thank you gift for their patience.

For more ways to improve patient satisfaction, visit part 7: Treat Everyone with Importance.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Employees—Assets or Expenses?

Expense. A cost or charge.
Asset. A useful or valuable item/person that one owns.

If you have not already, you need to stop and examine how you perceive the employees at your company. The way you see your employees affects your employee engagement.


What do you do with expenses in your company? You look for ways to reduce them. When you consider your employees an expense, which they are of course, you strive to have the least amount of employees needed to do the greatest amount of work possible. It may sound a little heartless to consider an employee an expense but when it comes down to it, technically, they are.

As a common rule, a healthy company should spend less than a third of its gross income to pay its employees. This is why, if a company doesn't bring in as much income as it was hoping, it typically has layoffs. With layoffs come lower morale, talent loss, and lost productivity. While layoffs aren't the only way to deal with a overextended budget, frequently that is what's used.


The skills and intellectual abilities your employees possess is something you cannot own. Additionally, since these items are intangible, you cannot assign an exact value to them. For these reasons, employees are not true assets.

However intangible, your employees still possess value. Through their ingenuity, they can solve problems, increase efficiency and skyrocket sales. Additionally, the longer an employee is with your company, the more company knowledge they possess. As they complete tasks and overcome problems, they strengthen and hone their skills. So, if you consider an asset something or someone that appreciates over time, then an employee is definitely an asset.

Treating employees as assets

Treating employees as assets can pay dividends to you in the future and need not incur expense. Here are some ways you can show your employees that you value them as assets to your company.

  • Take time to get to know your employees and their teams
  • Reward the sharing of company knowledge
  • Increase your communication
  • Provide added reassurance during times of change and transition
  • Encourage feedback from all levels of your company on how you can improve your service
  • Listen to the feedback you receive
  • Make commitments and keep them
  • Invite everyone to increase their quality of work
  • Support the initiatives your employees are working on
  • Improve your training programs
  • Teach your managers how to provide feedforward
  • Encourage creativity

What do you think?

Are employees expenses or assets? How has treating them one way or the other affected your company? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Exceed Expectations

Part 5 of 7: Exceed expectations

7 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction

To thrive in today's economy, we have to go beyond just delivering what is expected. Being good is not good enough anymore. In a day and age where we can order pizza on our phones and have it delivered to our door, it can be difficult to exceed expectations. Meeting even standard expectations can be difficult when staff is short and budgets are tight. Here are a few simple ways you can move your expectation meter from hmmm to WOW. 

Low-hanging fruit

Look through your survey results and gather up all of the comments associated with scores three and below. Sort the comments into groups based off of level of difficulty to correct issues discussed. Start by focusing on resolving the negative feedback that is easiest to fix. Quick wins can give you stamina to work on harder-to-resolve problems. By saying you should focus on the low-hanging fruit, it isn't to say that you shouldn't put priority on difficult issues. Clearing up complex problems can definitely take your patient's expectations from good to great in a big way and is essential in operating a successful organization.

Under and over

Remember the old adage, "under promise, over deliver." It's far better to surprise and delight your patients with things they aren't expecting than to promise something and not deliver on it. Again, a word of caution: under promising isn't an excuse for not pushing yourself to do your best. Striving for greatness should always be your goal.

Create "WOW" moments

Simply thinking about simple ways you can do more for your patients than they are expecting is sometimes all it takes. For instance, remembering a patient's birthday or bringing along a sympathy card to a patient who has recently lost a pet.

A family member of a patient said this about her father's nurse, "One nurse knows Dad likes patriotic songs and has downloaded, 'God Bless America' on her cell phone. When he's upset, she hands it to him and it calms him right down."

These are the types of simple opportunities you can take to go beyond your patient's expectations and provide them with a special experience.

For more ways to improve patient satisfaction, visit part 6: Lose Wait.