Creating a functional and successful medical practice includes far more than just taking care of patients. Without engaged and trustworthy staff, it can be difficult to keep everything running smoothly.
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do as a practice manager or owner that help keep employees happy for years or even decades to come. Here are six tips for reducing staff turnover in your medical practice.
Tip #1: Hire the Right People the First Time
The easiest way to reduce staff turnover is to hire the right people the first time. Ask plenty of questions during the screening and interviewing to ensure they have the right qualifications, attitude, and mindset for the job. Keep from rushing the selection process or hiring someone out of need or desperation.
While there are certain things you cannot discriminate on when hiring, it is also important to trust your gut instinct. If a candidate doesn’t seem like they’ll fit into the culture of the practice, it might be best to look into choosing someone else. In some cases, this can save you the hassle of hiring a new team member, realizing they aren’t what you need, and having to find someone else.
Tip #2: Offer Competitive Pay and Benefits
Another way to reduce staff turnover is to offer competitive pay and benefits. Employees will gladly leave a mediocre job for one that pays just a few dollars more or provides additional perks, like flexible scheduling or better health insurance. Work directly with your staff to determine the key items that are most important to them, then create an implementation plan. After all, happy employees are productive employees!
As a side note, if your practice is small or you have limited resources, have an honest conversation with your staff about your limitations. Help narrow down the things that are most important to them. For example, an extra floating holiday a year might be more important than an extra twenty-cent annual pay raise. Use their input to help shape your overall plan.
Tip #3: Provide Ways to Combat Stress
It isn’t exactly a secret that the healthcare industry is generally pretty stressful. Burnout and anxiety are common, but they don’t have to be a factor that causes a high level of staff turnover. Caring about the mental health of employees is crucial and implementing the ability to take days off to cope or to limit the number of overtime hours worked is important.
You can also opt to have certain additional perks like access to a local gym or a set number of free visits to a local therapist. Some larger practices even allow their employees a free massage every quarter. These perks are all usually pretty cost-effective and even easy to negotiate with local vendors. What works well for your team is ultimately up to you, but addressing employee needs is always important.
Tip #4: Create a Rewards System for Meeting Goals
One more tip is to create a rewards system for meeting both individual and practice goals. This can be something as simple as keeping appointment levels at a certain rate or completing a set number of tasks. Allowing employees to feel valued through a set rewards system is known to create a happier and more cohesive work environment. In turn, this leads to committed staff interested in staying with your practice over the long haul.
In addition, talk frequently with your employees about their career goals both within and outside the practice. By letting your staff know you’re committed to their success, they are much more likely to stick with the environment of your office.
Tip #5: Develop an Accountability Plan
Not every aspect of staff turnover involves positivity. Sometimes, there are employees that you need to fire to make room for someone who is a better fit. That’s when having an accountability plan with regular reviews becomes important. If a staff member is not performing well or just isn’t fitting in with the practice culture, having regular reviews is an ideal way to either help fix the situation or determine who isn’t meeting standards.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be a stressful thing. In many small or medium practices, this involves sitting down with the employee, deciding on a few small goals, and jotting them down. Then revisiting the topic the next month to see if they’ve been met or if there are any areas that need additional work. Not only is this a great way to fine-tune problematic team members, but it can also be a wonderful way to turn great employees into exceptional ones.
Tip #6: Consider Outsourcing Some Tasks
One of the highest contributing factors to staff turnover is feeling overworked or not having enough hours in the day. Outsourcing certain tasks like billing and coding is another great way to make the burden of the job less stressful. By freeing up staff, you’re also able to complete other tasks more efficiently and help foster talent in other areas of the practice. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
Another benefit of outsourcing is a financial one. Often, the cost of paying a separate company is less than it would be to have a full-time in-house employee handle the same function. This savings is then passed on to other employees in the form of better perks, higher pay, and more.
Nearly every medical practice experiences employee turnover at some point. However, keeping these six tips in mind is a great way to build a cohesive and happy work environment that fosters growth and keeps your employees in place for many years to come.
Are you considering outsourcing your medical and billing procedures? M-Scribe is here to help. We are proud to be a national leader in medical claims billing, coding, and auditing. Our job is to make your practice run more smoothly! Give us a call at 770-666-0470 or Patrick.Dougherty@m-scribe.com for further details.